>THE STORY. ,OF OPAL THEJOURMLOFAN UNDERSTANDING HEART The Story of Opal The Journal of An Understanding Heart Photograph by Bachrach OPAL WHITELEY RECONSTRUCTING HER DIARY The Story of Opal The Journal of An Understanding Heart Opal Whiteley With Illustrations , ' The Atlantic Monthly Press Boston COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY COMPANY COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS All rights reserved YO 3UC LIBW . ' PREFACE FOR those whom Nature loves, the Story of Opal is an open book. They need no introduction to the journal of this Under- standing Heart. But the world, which veils the spirit and callouses the instincts, makes curiosity for most people the criterion of interest. They demand facts and backgrounds, theories and explanations, and for them it seems worth while to set forth something of the child's story undisclosed by the diary, and to attempt to weave together some impressions of the author. Last September, late one afternoon, Opal Whiteley came into the Atlantic's office, with a book which she had had printed in Los Angeles. It was not a promising errand, though it had brought her all the way from the Western coast, hoping to have published in regular fashion this volume, half fact, half fancy, of The Fairyland Around Us, the fairyland of beasts and blossoms, butterflies and birds. The book was quaintly embellished with colored pictures,. pas icd in by hand, and bore a hundred marks of special loving^care. -Yet about it there seemed little at first sight to tom^t a publisher. In- deed, she had offered her wares in vam vo rnoie than one pub- lishing house; and as her dollars were, growing, very few, the disappointment was severe. But about Opal Whiteley her- self there was something to attract the attention even of a man of business something very young and eager and flut- tering, like a bird in a thicket. The talk went as follows : " I am afraid we can't do anything with the book. But you must have had an interesting life. You have lived much in the woods?" vi PREFACE "Yes, in lots of lumber-camps." "How many?" "Nineteen. At least, we moved nineteen times." It was hard not to be interested now. One close question followed another regarding the surroundings of her girlhood. The answers were so detailed, so sharply remembered, that the next question was natural. " If you remember like that, you must have kept a diary." Her eyes opened wide. "Yes, always. I do still." "Then it is not the book I want, but the diary." She caught her breath. "It's destroyed. It's all torn up." Tears were in her eyes. "You loved it?" "Yes; I told it everything." "Then you kept the pieces." The guess was easy (what child whose doll is rent asunder throws away the sawdust?), but she looked amazed. "Yes, I have kept everything. The pieces are all stored in Los Angeles." We telegraphed for them, and they came, hundreds, thou- sands, one might almost say millions of them. Some few were large as a half-sheet of notepaper; more, scarce big enough to hold a letier of the alphabet. The paper was of all shades, sorts, and sizes: butchers' -bags pressed and sliced in two, wrapping-paper, t'he backs. of envelopes anything and everything that could -hold -writing. The early years of the diary are prinfc-eo'-'n 'letters' ie cl'ose that, when the sheets are fitted, not another letter 'can be squeezed in. In later passages the characters are written with childish clumsiness, and later still one sees the gradually forming adult hand. The labor of piecing the diary together may fairly be described as enormous. For nine months almost continuously the diarist has labored, piecing it together sheet by sheet, each page a kind of picture-puzzle, lettered, for frugality (the store was precious), on both sides of the paper. PREFACE vn The entire diary, of which this volume covers but the two opening years, must comprise a total of a quarter of a million words. Upwards of seventy thousand all that is contained in this volume can be ascribed with more than reasonable definiteness to the end of Opal's sixth and to her seventh year. During all these months Opal Whiteley has been a frequent visitor in the Atlantic's office. With friendliness came confi- dence, and little by little, very gradually, an incident here, another there, her story came to be told. She was at first eager only for the future and for the opportunity to write and teach children of the world which she loved best. But as the thread of the diary was unraveled, she felt a growing in- terest in what her past had been, and in what lay behind her earliest recollections and the opening chapters of her printed record. Her methods were nothing if not methodical. First, the framework of a sheet would be fitted and the outer edges squared. Here the adornment of borders in childish patterns, and the fortunate fact that the writer had employed a variety of colored crayons, using each color until it was exhausted, lent an unhoped-for aid. Then, odd sheets were fitted together; later, fragments of episodes. Whenever one was completed, it was typed by an assistant on a card, and in this way there came into being a card-system that would do credit to a scien- tific museum of modest proportions. Finally the cards were filed in sequence, the manuscript then typed off and printed just as at first written, with no change whatever other than omissions, the adoption of reasonable rules of capitalization (the manuscript for many years has nothing but capitals), and the addition of punctuation, of which the manuscript is entirely innocent. The spelling with the exception of oc- casional characteristic examples of the diarist's individual Style has, in the reader's interest, been widely amended, viii PREFACE II Opal Whiteley so her story runs was born about twenty-two years ago where, we have no knowledge. Of her parents, whom she lost before her fifth year, she is sure of nothing except that they loved her, and that she loved them with a tenacity of affection as strong now as at the time of parting. To recall what manner of people they were, no physical proof remains except, perhaps, two precious little copybooks, which held their photographs and wherein her mother and father had set down things which they wished their little daughter to learn, both of the world about her and of that older world of legend and history, with which the diarist shows such capricious and entertaining familiarity. These books, for reasons beyond her knowledge, were taken away from Opal when she was about twelve years of age, and have never been returned, although there is ground for be- lieving that they are still in existence. Other curious clues to the identity of her father and mother come from the child's frequent use of French expressions, and sometimes of longer passages in French, and from her ready use of scientific terms. It is, perhaps, a fair inference that her father was a naturalist by profession or native taste, and that either he or her mother was French by birth or by education. After her parents' death, there is an interlude in Opal's recollection which she does not understand, remembering only that for a brief season the sweet tradition of her mother's care was carried on by an older woman, possibly a governess, from whom, within a year, she was taken and, after recovering from a serious illness, given to the wife of an Oregon lumber- man, lately parted from her first child, Opal Whiteley, whose place and name, for reasons quite unknown, were given to the present Opal. From some time in her sixth year to the present, her diary has continued without serious interruption; and from the PREFACE ix successive chapters we shall see that her life, apart from the gay tranquillity of her spirit, was not a happy one. Her friends were the animals and everything that flies or swims; her single confidant was her diary, to which she confided every trouble and every satisfaction. When Opal was over twelve years old, a foster-sister, in a tragic fit of childish temper, unearthed the hiding-place of the diary and tore it into a myriad of fragments. The work of years seemed destroyed, but Opal, who had treasured its understanding pages, picked up the pitiful scraps and stored them in a secret box. There they lay undisturbed for many years. Ill Such in briefest outline is the story Opal told; and month after month, while chapters of the diary were appearing in the Atlantic, snatches of the same history, together with descriptions of many unrecorded episodes, came in the editor's mail; and though the weaving is of very different texture, the pattern is unmistakably the pattern of the diary. Dates and names, peregrinations and marriages, births, deaths, and adventures less solemn and less apt to be accurately recol- lected, occurred just as the diary tells them. The existence of the diary itself was well remembered, though for many years Opal had never spoken of it; a friend recalled the calamitous day when the abundant chronicle of six years was destroyed; and a cloud of witnesses bore testimony to the multitudinous family of pets, and some even to the multi- colored names they bore. There were many letters besides, which came not to the Atlantic at all, but were part of Opal's own correspondence with people "of understanding," mem- bers by instinct of that free-masonry which, as she learned long ago, binds folk of answering hearts and minds. Many of these letters (which rest for safety in the Atlantic's treasury) are messages of thanks for copies of that first book of Opal's - x PREFACE engaging letters, very personal most of them, bearing sig- natures to delight the eyes of collectors of autographs: M. Clemenceau, M. Poincare, Lord Rayleigh, Lord Curzon, members of the French cabinet, scientists, men of letters, men of achievement. Opal has sought her friends all through the world; but her lantern is bright and she has found them. Her old Oregon teachers also have been quick to bear witness to her talents, and to recall the formal lessons which often she would not remember, and the other more necessary lessons which she could not forget. They would ask too whence came the French which they had never taught her. An attempt to answer that would take us far afield. All we need do here is to recall that first time, when Opal, full of puzzlement over letters that simply would not shape themselves into familiar phrases, turned to her editors and was told that they were French. "But they can't be French! I never studied French." But French they are, nevertheless. IV If the story of Opal were written by another hand than her own, the central theme of it would be faith. No matter how doubtful the enterprise, the issue she always holds as certain, simply because the world is good and God loves his children. Loving herself all created things, from her barrel-full of cater- pillars, whose evolution she would note and chronicle from day to day, to the dogs and horses, squirrels, raccoons, and bats which peopled the world she lived in, she would thank God daily for them, and very early in her life determined to devote the rest of it to spreading knowledge of them and of their kind far and wide among little children. To accomplish this, needed education, and an education she would have. Those about her showed no interest; but by picking berries, washing, and work of all rough sorts, Opal paid for the books which the high school required. But she PREFACE XI must do more than this. She must go to college. To the State University she went, counting it nothing that she should live in a room without furniture other than a two-dollar cot, and two coats for blankets. Family conditions, however, made college impossible for her. After the illness and death of Mrs. Whiteley, Opal borrowed a little money from friends in Cot- tage Grove, Oregon, and started alone for Los Angeles, deter- mined to seek her livelihood by giving nature lessons to classes of children. The privations and disappointments of the next two years would make an heroic tale; but she persevered, and her classes became successful. The next step was her nature book, for which, by personal canvass for subscriptions, she raised not less than the prodigious sum of $9400. But the printers with a girl for a client, demanded more and still more money, and when the final $600 necessary to make the booty mount to $10,000 was not forthcoming, with a brutality that would do credit to a Thenardier, first threatened, and then destroyed the plates. A struggle for mere existence followed, but gradually Opal triumphed, when she was overtaken by a serious illness and taken to the hospital. New and merciful friends, such as are always conjured up by such a life as Opal's, came to her assistance, and after her recovery she soon started eastward, to find a publisher for her ill-fated volume. The rest we know. Yet, after all, our theme should not be Opal, but Opal's book. She is the child of curious and interesting circum- stance, but of circumstance her journal is altogether inde- pendent. The authorship does not matter, nor the life from which it came. There the book is. Nothing else is like it, nor apt to be. If there is alchemy in Nature, it is in children's hearts the unspoiled treasure lies, and for that room of the treasure-house, the Story of Opal offers a tiny golden key. ELLERY SEDGWICK. THE ATLANTIC OFFICE, June, 1920. .1 CONTENTS CHARACTERS IN THE NARRATIVE xv ii INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR z CHAPTER I How Opal Goes along the Road beyond the Singing Creek, and of all she Sees in her New Home 5 CHAPTER II How Lars Porsena of Clusium Got Opal into Trouble, and how Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael and Sadie McKibben Gave her Great Comfort 9 CHAPTER III Of the Queer Feels that Came out of a Bottle of Cas- toria, and of the Happiness of Larry and Jean 14 CHAPTER IV How Peter Paul Rubens Goes to School 21 CHAPTER V How Opal Comforted Aphrodite, and how the Fairies Comforted Opal when there Was Much Sadness at School 2 - CHAPTER VI Opal Gives Wisdom to the Potatoes, Cleanliness to the Family Clothes, and a Delicate Dinner to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus <> r CHAPTER VII The Adventure of the Tramper; and what Happens on Long and on Short Days 47 CHAPTER VIII How Opal Takes a Walk in the Forest of Chantilly; she Visits Elsie and her Baby Boy, and Explains Many Things to the Girl that Has no Seeing 55 xiv CONTENTS CHAPTER IX Of an Exploring Trip with Brave Horatius; and how Opal Kept Sadness away from her Animal Friends 69 CHAPTER X How Brave Horatius is Lost and Found again, but Peter Paul Rubens is Lost Forever 75 CHAPTER XI How Opal Took the Miller's Brand out of the Flour- Sack, and Got Many Sore Feels thereby; and how Sparks Come on Cold Nights; and how William Shakespeare Has Likings for Poems 81 CHAPTER XII Of Elsie's Brand-New Baby, and all the Things that Go with it; and the Goodly Wisdom of the Angels, who Bring Folks Babies that Are like them 91 CHAPTER XIII How Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil Go for a Ride; William Shakespeare Suffers One Whipping and Opal Another 100 CHAPTER XIV How Opal Feels Satisfaction Feels, and Takes a Ride on William Shakespeare; and all that Came of it . 104 CHAPTER XV Of Jenny Strong's Visit, its Gladness and its Sadness 114 CHAPTER XVI Of the Woods on a Lonesome Day, and the Friend- liness of the Wood-Folks on December Days when you Put your Ears Close and Listen 122 CHAPTER XVII Of Works to be Done; and how it Was that a Glad Light Came into the Eyes of the Man who Wears Gray Neckties and Is Kind to Mice . 127 CONTENTS xv CHAPTER XVIII How Opal Pays One Visit to Elsie and Another to Dear Love, and Learns how to Mend her Clothes in a Quick Way 131 CHAPTER XIX Of the Camp by the Mill by the Far Woods; of the Spanking that Came from the New Way of Mend- ing Clothes; and of the Long Sleep of William Shakespeare 138 CHAPTER XX Of the Little Song-Notes that Dance about Babies; and of the Solemn Christening of Solomon Grundy 146 CHAPTER XXI How Opal Names Names of the Lambs of Aidan of lona, and Seeks for the Soul of Peter Paul Rubens 158 CHAPTER XXII How Solomon Grundy Falls Sick and Grows Well again; and Minerva's Chickens are Christened; and the Pensee Girl, with the Far-Away Look in her Eyes, Finds Thirty-and-Three Bunches of Flowers 165 CHAPTER XXIII How Opal and Brave Horatius Go on Explores and Visit the Hospital. How the Mamma Dyes Clothes and Opal Dyes Clementine. .' 177 CHAPTER XXIV How the Mamma's Wish Came True, and how Opal was Spanked for it; and of the Likes which Aphro- dite Had for a Clean Place to Live in 185 CHAPTER XXV Of Many Washings and a Walk 193 xvi CONTENTS CHAPTER XXVI Why it Was that the Girl who Has no Seeing Was not at Home when Opal Called 197 CHAPTER XXVII Of a Cathedral Service in the Pig-Pen. How the World Looks from a Man's Shoulder 204 CHAPTER XXVIII How Opal Piped with Reeds, and what a Good Time Dear Love Gave Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus 212 CHAPTER XXIX How Opal Feels the Heat of the Sun, and Decorates a Goodly Number of the White Poker-Chips of the Chore Boy 218 CHAPTER XXX How Opal and the Little Birds from the Great Tree Have a Happy Time at the House of Dear Love. . . . 226 CHAPTER XXXI How Lola Wears her White Silk Dress at Last 231 CHAPTER XXXII Of the Ways that Fairies Write, and the Proper Way to Drink in the Song of the Wood 234 CHAPTER XXXIII Of the Death of Lars Porsena of Clusium, and of the Comfort that Sadie McKibben can Give 242 CHAPTER XXXIV Of the Fall of the Great Tree, and the Funeral of Aristotle 249 CHAPTER XXXV How the Man of the Long Step that Whistles Most of the Time Takes an Interesting Walk 253 CONTENTS xvii CHAPTER XXXVI Of Taking-Egg Day, and the Remarkable Things that Befell thereon 2 - CHAPTER XXXVII Of the Strange Adventure in the Woods on the Going- Away Day of Saint Louis 2 7o CHAPTER XXXVIII How Opal Makes Prepares to Move. How she Col- lects all the Necessary Things, Bids Good-bye to Dear Love, and Learns that her Prayer has been Answered 27 - POSTSCRIPT 2 o LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS OPAL WHITELEY RECONSTRUCTING HER DIARY Frontispiece THE AUTHOR AND THE FRAGMENTS OF HER DIARY . . i A SPECIMEN PAGE OF OPAL'S DIARY WRITTEN ON A PAPER BAG 13 LUMBER-CAMP FOLK 33 AT THE PASTURE-BARS 78 "AFTER WE WERE ACROSS THE RIVIERE WE WENT IN A MORE SLOW WAY" 108 "I WONDER WHY IT IS THE LUMBER-CAMP FOLK DO CUT OFF THEIR OVERALLS WHERE THEY DO MEET THE BOOTS" 140 A PATH TO "EXPLORES" IN THE FAR WOODS 187 CHARACTERS IN THE NARRATIVE AGAMEMNON MENELAUS DINDON, a pet turkey. ADAMNAN OF IONA, a sheep. ALAN OF BRETAGNE, a fir tree. AIDAN OF IONA come from Lindisfarne, the shepherd. ALBERIC DE BRIANCON, a sheep. ALCUIN, a sheep. ALFRIC OF CANTERBURY, a sheep. ANACREON HERODOTUS, a lamb a little more little than the other little lamb. ANDROMEDA, sister hen of Clementine. ANTHONYA MUNDY, Solomon Grundy's little pig sister that has not got as much curl in her tail as has Solomon Grundy. APHRODITE, the mother-pig. ARISTOTLE, a pet bat who died of eating too many mosquitoes. BEBE BLANCHE \ ,. , , , , TTT BEBE WILLIAM / two llttle trees b ^ Edward IIL BEDE OF JARROW, a sheep. BEN JONSON, one of Minerva's baby chickens. BRAVE HORATIUS, the shepherd dog. BYRON, a fir tree in the lane. CASSIOPEE, a neighbor's pig. CARDINAL RICHELIEU, one of Minerva's baby chickens. CHARLEMAGNE, the most tall tree of all the trees growing in the lane. CLEMENTINE, a Plymouth Rock hen. CYNEWULF, a sheep. DALLAN FORGAILL, a sheep. DEAR LOVE AND HER YOUNG HUSBAND, neighbors and dear friends. xxii CHARACTERS EDMUND SPENSER, one of Minerva's bqby chickens. EDWARD III, a fir tree near the singing creek where the wil- lows grow. EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES, a younger tree growing near unto Edward III. EDWIN OF DIERA, a sheep. ELIDOR, a sheep. ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, a pet cow with poetry in her tracks. ELSIE AND HER YOUNG HUSBAND, neighbors and interesting friends. EPICURUS PYTHAGORAS, a lamb. ETIENNE OF BLOIS, a fir tree in the woods. FELIX MENDELSSOHN, a very dear pet mouse. FELIX OF CROYLAND, a sheep. FRANCIS BEAUMONT, one of Minerva's baby chickens. GEOFFROI CHAUCER, a little squirrel that was hurt by the black cat. GODEFROI OF BOUILLON, a fir tree in the woods. GOOD KING EDWARD I, a fir tree growing in the lane. GRANDPERE, Mrs. Whiteley's father. GUY DE CAVAILLON, a sheep. GWIAN, a sheep. HOMER ARCHIMEDES CHILON, a little lamb more big than all the other lambs. HUGH CAPET, a fir tree growing in the lane. ISAIAH, a plain dog. JEAN DE LA FONTAINE, one of Minerva's baby chickens. JEAN MOLIERE, one of Minerva's baby chickens. JEAN RACINE, one of Minerva's baby chickens. CHARACTERS xxiii JENNY STRONG, a visitor with an interesting bonnet. JOHN OF GAUNT, DUKE OF LANCASTER, a tree growing near unto Edward III. JOHN FLETCHER, one of Minerva's baby chickens. KEATS, an oak tree in the lane. LARS PORSENA OF CLUSIUM, a pet crow with a fondness for collecting things. LIONEL, DUKE OF CLARENCE, a tree growing near unto Edward III. LOLA, a little girl in school, who had wants for a white silk dress. Louis II, LE GRAND CONDE, a wood-mouse with likes to ride in the sleeve of my red dress. Louis VI, a grand fir tree in the woods. LUCIAN HORACE OVID VIRGIL, a toad. "MAMMA, THE," Mrs. Whiteley. MARCUS AURELIUS, a lamb. MATHILDE PLANTAGENET, the baby calf of the gentle Jersey cow, that came on the night of the coming of Elsie's baby. MENANDER EURIPIDES THEOCRITUS THUCYDIDES, a most dear lamb that had needs to be mothered. MICHAEL ANGELO SANZIO RAPHAEL, a grand fir tree with an understanding soul. NANNERL MOZART, a very shy mouse. NAPOLEON, the Rhode Island Red rooster. NICHOLAS BOILEAU, one of Minerva's baby chickens. OLIVER GOLDSMITH, one of Minerva's baby chickens. ORDERIC, a sheep. "PAPA, THE," Mr. Whiteley. PEACE, a mother hen that has got all her children grown up. PERIANDER PINDAR, a lamb. xxiv CHARACTERS PETER PAUL RUBENS, a very dear pet pig. Pius VII, one of Minerva's baby chickens. PLATO T> ,- twin bats. PLINY PLUTARCH DEMOSTHENES, a lamb. QUEEN ELEANOR OF CASTILE, a fir tree in the lane growing by Edward I. QUEEN PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT, a fir tree growing by Edward III. RAOUL DE HOUDENC, a sheep. RAYMOND OF TOULOUSE, a fir tree in the woods. SADIE McKiBBEN, a comforter in time of trouble. SAINT Louis, a fir tree growing in the lane. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, one of Minerva's baby chickens. SAVONAROLA, a sorrel horse. SHELLEY, a fir tree growing in the lane. SIR FRANCIS BACON, one of Minerva's baby chickens. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, one of Minerva's baby chickens. SIR WALTER RALEIGH, one of Minerva's baby chickens. SOLOMON GRUNDY, a very dear baby pig. SOLON THALES, a lamb. SOPHOCLES DIOGENES, a lamb with a short tail and a ques- tion-look in his eyes. THEODORE ROOSEVELT, a fir tree in the lane. THOMAS CHATTERTON JUPITER ZEUS, a most dear velvety wood-rat. TIBULLUS THEOGNIS, a fuzzy lamb with very long legs. WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, a little bird that was hurt. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, an old gray horse with an under- standing soul. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, an oak tree in the lane. The Story of Opal The Journal of An Understanding Heart THE STORY OF OPAL INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR OF the days before I was taken to the lumber camps there is little I remember. As piece by piece the journal comes together, some things come back. There are references here and there in the journal to things I saw or heard or learned in those days before I came to the lumber camps. There were walks in the fields and woods. When on these walks, Mother would tell me to listen to what the flowers and trees and birds were saying. We listened together. And on the way she told me poems and other lovely things, some of which she wrote in the two books and also in others which I had not with me in the lumber camps. On the walks, and after we came back, she had me to print what I had seen and what I had heard. After that she told me of different people and their won- derful work on earth. Then she would have me tell again to her what she had told me. After I came to the lumber camp, I told these things to the trees and the brooks and the flowers. There were five words my mother said to me over and over again, as she had me to print what I had seen and what I had heard. These words were: 2 THE STORY OF OPAL What, Where, When, How, Why. They had a very great influence over all my observations and the recording of those observations during all the days of my childhood. And my Mother having put such strong emphasis on these five words accounts for much of the detailed descriptions that are through- out my diary. No children I knew. There were only Mother and the kind woman who taught me and looked after me and dressed me, and the young girl who fed me. And there was Father in those few days when he was home from the far lands. Those were wonderful days his home-coming days. Then he would take me on his knee and ride me on his shoulder and tell me of the animals and birds of the far lands. And we went for many walks, and he would talk to me about the things along the way. It was then he taught me comparer. There was one day when I went with Mother in a boat. It was a little way on the sea. It was a happy day. Then something happened and we were all in the water. Afterward, when I called for Mother, they said the sea waves had taken her and she was gone to heaven. I remember the day be- cause I never saw my Mother again. The time was not long after that day with Mother in the boat, when one day the kind woman who taught me and took care of me did tell me gently that Father too had gone to heaven while he was away in the far lands. She said she was going to THE STORY OF OPAL 3 take me to my grandmother and grandfather, the mother and father of my Father. We started. But I never got to see my dear grandmother and grandfather, whom I had never seen. Something happened on the way and I was all alone. And I did n't feel happy. There were strange people that I had never seen before, and I was afraid of them. They made me to keep very still, and we went for no walks in the field. But we traveled a long, long way. Then it was they put me with Mrs. Whiteley. The day they put me with her was a rainy day, and I thought she was a little afraid of them too. She took me on the train and in a stage-coach to the lumber camp. She called me Opal Whiteley, the same name as that of another little girl who was the same size as I was when her mother lost her. She took me into the camp as her own child, and so called me as we lived in the different lumber camps and in the mill town. With me I took into camp a small box. In a slide drawer in the bottom of this box were two books which my own Mother and Father, the Angel Father and Mother I always speak of in my diary, had written in. I do not think the people who put me with Mrs. Whiteley knew about the books in the lower part of the box, for they took everything out of the top part of the box and tossed it aside. I picked it up and kept it with me, and, being- as I was more quiet with it in my arms, they 4 THE STORY OF OPAL allowed me to keep it, thinking it was empty. These books I kept always with me, until one day I shall always remember, when I was about twelve years old, they were taken from the box I kept then hid in the woods. Day by day I spelled over and over the many words that were written in them. From them I selected names for my pets. And it was the many little things recorded there that helped me to remember what my Mother and Father had already told me of different great lives and their work; and these books with these records made me very eager to be learning more and more of what was recorded in them. These two books I studied much more than I did my books at school. Their influence upon my life has been great. CHAPTER I How Opal Goes along the Road beyond the Singing Creek, and of all she Sees in her New Home. TO-DAY the folks are gone away from the house we do live in. They are gone a little way away, to the ranch-house where the grandpa does live. I sit on our steps and I do print. I like it this house we do live in being at the edge of the near woods. So many little people do live in the near woods. I do have conversations with them. I found the near woods first day I did go explores. That was the next day after we were come here. All the way from the other logging camp in the beautiful moun- tains we came in a wagon. Two horses were in front of us. They walked in front of us all the way. When first we were come, we did live with some other people in the ranch-house that was n't all builded yet. After that we lived in a tent, and often when it did rain many raindrops came right through the tent. They did fall in patters on the stove and on the floor and on the table. Too, they did make the quilts on the beds some damp but that did n't matter much because they soon got dried hang- ing around the stove. By and by we were come from the tent to this lumber shanty. It has got a divide in it. One room we do have sleeps in. In the other room we do 6 THE STORY OF OPAL have breakfast and supper. Back of the house are some nice wood-rats. The most lovely of them all is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. By the wood- shed is a brook. It goes singing on. Its joy song does sing in my heart. Under the house live some mice. I give them bread-scraps to eat. Under the steps lives a toad. He and I we are friends. I have named him. I call him Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil. Between the ranch-house and the house we live in is the singing creek where the willows grow. We have conversations. And there I do dabble my toes beside the willows. I feel the feels of gladness they do feel. And often it is I go from the willows to the meeting of the road. That is just in front of the ranch-house. There the road does have divides. It goes three ways. One way the road does go to the house of Sadie McKibben. It does n't stop when it gets to her house, but mostly I do. The road just goes on to the mill town a little way away. In its going it goes over a hill. Sometimes the times Sadie McKibben is n't at home I do go with Brave Horatius to the top of the hill. We look looks down upon the mill town. Then we do face about and come again home. Always we make stops at the house of Sadie McKibben. Her house it is close to the mill by the far woods. That mill makes a lot of noise. It can do two things at once. It makes the noises and also it does saw the logs into boards. About the mill do live some people, mostly THE STORY OF OPAL 7 men-folks. There does live the good man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. Another way, the road does go the way I go when I go to the school-house where I go to school. When it is come there, it does go right on on to the house of the girl who has no seeing. When it gets to her house, it does make a bend, and it does go its way to the blue hills. As it goes, its way is near unto the way of the riviere that sings as it comes from the blue hills. There are singing brooks that come going to the riviere. These brooks they and I we are friends. I call them Orne and Loing and Yonne and Rille and Essonne. Near unto the road, long ways between the brooks, are ranch-houses. I have not knowing of the people that do dwell in them. But I do know some of their cows and horses and pigs. They are friendly folk. Around the ranch-houses are fields. Woods used to grow where now grows grain. When the mowers cut down the grain, they also do cut down the cornflowers that grow in the fields. I follow along after and I do pick them up. Of some of them I make a guirlande. When the guirlande is made, I do put it around the neck of William Shakespeare. He does have appreciations. As we go walking down the lane, I do talk with him about the one he is named for. And he does have under- standing. He is such a beautiful gray horse, and his ways are ways of gentleness. Too, he does have likings like the likings I have for the hills that are 8 THE STORY OF OPAL beyond the fields for the hills where are trails and tall fir trees like the wonderful ones that do grow by the road. So go two of the roads. The other road does lead to the upper logging camps. It goes only a little way from the ranch-house and it comes to a riviere. Long time ago, this road did have a longing to go across the riviere. Some wise people did have un- derstandings and they did build it a bridge to go across on. It went across the bridge and it goes on and on between the hills the hills where dwell the talking fir trees. By its side goes the railroad track. Its appears are not so nice as are the ap- pears of the road, and it has got only a squeaky voice. But this railroad track does have shining rails they stretch away and away, like a silver ribbon that came from the moon in the night. I go a-walking on these rails. I get off when I do hear the approaches of the dinky engine. On this track on every day, excepting Sunday, comes and goes the logging train. It goes to the camps and it does bring back cars of logs and cars of lumber. These it does take to the mill town. There engines more big do take the cars of lumber to towns more big. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has been wait- ing in my sunbonnet a long time. He wants to go on explores. Too, Brave Horatius and Isaiah are having longings in their eyes. And I hear Peter Paul Rubens squealing in the pig-pen. Now I go. We go on explores. CHAPTER II How Lars Porsena of Clusium Got Opal into Trouble, and how Michael A ngelo Sanzio Raphael and Sadie McKibben Gave her Great Comfort. TO-DAY was a warm, hot day. It was warm in the morning and hot at noon. Before noon and after noon and after that, I carried water to the hired men in the field in a jug. I got the water out of the pump to put into the jug. I had to put water in the pump before any would come out. The men were glad to have that water in the jug. While I was taking the water in the jug to the men in the field, from her sewing-basket Lars Porsena of Clusium took the mamma's thimble, and she didn't have it and she couldn't find it. She sent me to watch out for it in the house and in the yard and everywhere. I know how Lars Por- sena of Clusium has a fondness for collecting things of bright colors, like unto my fondness for collecting rocks; so I ran to his hiding-place in the old oak tree. There I found the mamma's thimble; but she said the pet crow's having taken it was as though I had taken it, because he was my property; so I got a spanking with the hazel switches that grow near unto our back steps. Inside me I could n't help feeling she ought to have given me thanks for finding the thimble. io THE STORY OF OPAL Afterwards I made little vases out of clay. I put them in the oven to bake. The mamma found my vases of clay. She threw them out the window. When I went to pick them up, they were broken. I felt sad inside. I went to talk things over with my chum, Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He is that most tall fir tree that grows just back of the barn. I scooted up the barn door. From there I climbed onto the lower part of the barn roof. I walked up a ways. Up there I took a long look at the world about. One gets such a good wide view of the world from a barn roof. After, I looked looks in four straight ways and four corner ways. I said a little prayer. I always say a little prayer before I jump off the barn into the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael, because that jump is quite a long jump, and if I did not land in the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael, I might get my leg or neck broken. That would mean I 'd have to keep still a long time. Now I think that would be the most awful thing that could happen, for I do so love to be active. So I always say a little prayer and do that jump in a careful way. To-day, when I did jump, I did land right proper in that fir tree. It is such a comfort to nestle up to Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael when one is in trouble. He is such a grand tree. He has an understanding soul. After I talked with him and listened unto his voice, I slipped down out of his arms. I intended to slip into the barn corral, but I slid off the wrong THE STORY OF OPAL n limb in the wrong way. I landed in the pig-pen on top of Aphrodite, the mother-pig. She gave a peculiar grunt. It was not like those grunts she gives when she is comfortable. I felt I ought to do something to make up to her for having come into her home out of the arms of Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael instead of calling on her in the proper way. I decided a good way to make it up to her would be to pull down the rail fence in that place where the pig-pen is weak, and take her for a walk. I went to the wood-shed. I got a piece of clothes-line rope. While I was mak- ing a halter for the mother-pig, I took my Sunday- best hair-ribbon the blue ribbon the Uncle Henry gave to me. I made a bow on that halter. I put the bow just over her ears. That gave her the proper look. When the mamma saw us go walking by, she took the bow from off the pig. She put that bow in the trunk; me she put under the bed. By-and-by some time long it was she took me from under the bed and gave me a spanking. She did not have time to give me a spanking when she put me under the bed. She left me there until she did have time. After she did it she sent me to the ranch-house to get milk for the baby. I walked slow through the oak grove, looking for caterpillars. I found nine. Then I went to the pig-pen. The chore boy was fixing back the rails I had pulled down. His temper was quite warm. He was saying prayer words in a very quick way. I went not near 12 THE STORY OF OPAL unto him. I slipped around near Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. I peeked in between the fence- rails. Aphrodite was again in the pig-pen. She was snoozing, so I tiptoed over to the rain-barrel by the barn. I raised mosquitoes in the rain-barrel for my pet bats. Aristotle eats more mosquitoes than Plato and Pliny eat. On my way to the house I met Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen, with her family. She only has twelve baby chickens now. The grandpa say the other one she did have died of new monia because I gave it too many baths for its health. When I came to the house one of the cats, a black one, was sitting on the doorstep. I have not friendly feelings for that big black cat. Day before the day that was yesterday I saw him kill the mother hummingbird. He knocked her with his paw when she came to the nasturtiums. I did n't even speak to him. Just as I was going to knock on the back door for the milk, I heard a voice [on the front porch. It was the voice of a person who has an understanding soul. I hurried around to the front porch. There was Sadie McKibben with a basket on her arm. She beamed a smile at me. I went over and nestled up against her blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it. The freckles on Sadie McKibben's wrinkled face are as many as are the stars in the Milky Way, and she is awful old going on forty. Her hands are all brown and cracked like the dried-up mud- A SPECIMEN PAGE OF OPAL S DIARY WRITTEN ON A PAPER BAG THE STORY OF OPAL 13 puddles by the roadside in July, and she has an understanding soul. She always has bandages ready in her pantry when some of my pets get hurt. There are cookies in her cookie-jar when I don't get home for meals, and she allows me to stake out earthworm claims in her back yard. She walked along beside me when I took the milk home. When she came near the lane, she took from her basket wrapping-papers and gave them to me to print upon. Then she kissed me good-bye upon the cheek and went her way to her home. I went my way to the house we live in. After the mamma had switched me for not getting back sooner with the milk, she told me to fix the milk for the baby. The baby's bottle used to be a brandy bottle, but it evoluted into a milk bottle when they put a nipple onto it. I sit here on the doorstep printing this on the wrapping-paper Sadie McKibben gave me. The baby is in bed asleep. The mamma and the rest of the folks is gone to the ranch-house. When they went away, she said for me to stay in the doorway to see that nothing comes to carry the baby away. By the step is Brave Horatius. At my feet is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I hear songs lullaby songs of the trees. The back part of me feels a little bit sore, but I am happy listening to the twilight music of God's good world. I'm real glad I 'm alive. CHAPTER III Of the Queer Feels that Came out of a Bottle of Castoria, and of the Happiness of Larry and Jean. THE colic had the baby to-day, and there was no Castoria for the pains; there was none because yesterday Pearl 1 and I climbed upon a chair and then upon the dresser and drank up the new bottle of Castoria; but the bottle had an ache in it and we swallowed the ache with the Castoria. That gave us queer feels. Pearl lay down on the bed. I did rub her head. But she said it was n't her head it was her back that hurt. Then she said it was her leg that ached. The mamma came in the house then, and she did take Pearl in a quick way to the ranch-house. It was a good time for me to go away exploring, but I did n't feel like going on an exploration trip. I just sat on the doorstep. I did sit there and hold my chin in my hand. I did have no longings to print. I only did have longings not to have those queer feels. Brave Horatius came walking by. He did make a stop at the doorstep. He wagged his tail. That meant he wanted to go on an explora- tion trip. Lars Porsena of Clusium came from the oak tree. He did perch on the back of Brave Horatius. He gave two caws. That meant he 1 A foster-sister. THE STORY OF OPAL 15 wanted to go on an exploration trip. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus came from under the house. He just crawled into my lap. I gave him pats and he cuddled his nose up under my curls. Peter Paul Rubens did squeal out in the pig-pen. He squealed the squeals he does squeal when he wants to go on an exploration trip. Brave Horatius did wait and wait, but still those queer feels would n't go away. Pretty soon I got awful sick. By-and-by I did have better feels. And to-day my feels are all right and the mamma is gone a-visiting and I am going on an exploration trip. Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Peter Paul Rubens are waiting while I do print this. And now we are going the way that does lead to the blue hills. Sometimes I share my bread and jam with Yel- lowjackets, who have a home on the bush by the road, twenty trees and one distant from the gar- den. To-day I climbed upon the old rail fence close to their home with a piece and a half of bread and jam and the half piece for them and the piece for myself. But they all wanted to be served at once, so it became necessary to turn over all bread and jam on hand. I broke it into little pieces, and they had a royal feast there on the old fence-rail. I wanted my bread and jam; but then Yellowjackets are such interesting fairies, being among the world's first paper-makers; and baby Yellowjackets are 16 THE STORY OF OPAL such chubby youngsters. Thinking of these things makes it a joy to share one's bread and jam with these wasp fairies. When I was coming back from feeding them I heard a loud noise. That Rob Ryder was out there by the chute, shouting at God in a very quick way. He was begging God to dam that chute right there in our back yard. Why, if God answered his prayer, we would be in an awful fix. The house we live in would be under water, if God dammed the chute. Now I think anger had Rob Ryder or he would not pray kind God to be so unkind. When I came again to the house we live in, the mamma was cutting out biscuits with the baking- powder can. She put the pan of biscuits on the wood-box back of the stove. She put a most clean dish-towel over the biscuits, then she went to gather in clothes. I got a thimble from the machine drawer. I cut little round biscuits from the big biscuits. The mamma found me. She put the thimble back in the machine drawer. She put me under the bed. Here under the bed I now print. By-and-by, after a long time, the mamma called me to come out from under the bed. She told me to put on my coat and her big fascinator on my head. She fastened my coat with safety-pins, then she gave me a lard-pail with its lid on tight. She told me to go straight to the grandpa's house for the milk, and to come straight home again. I started to go straight for the milk. When I came near the THE STORY OF OPAL 17 hospital, I went over to it to get the pet mouse, Felix Mendelssohn. I though that a walk in the fresh air would be good for his health. I took one of the safety-pins out of my coat. I pinned up a corner of the fascinator. That made a warm place next to my curls for Felix Mendelssohn to ride in. I call this mouse Felix Mendelssohn because some- times he makes very sweet music. Then I crossed to the cornfield. A cornfield is a very nice place, and some days we children make hair for our clothes-pin dolls from the silken tassels of the corn that grow in the grandpa's cornfield. Sometimes, which is quite often, we break the cornstalks in getting the silk tassels. That makes bumps on the grandpa's temper. To-night I walked zigzag across the field to look for things. Into my apron pocket I put bits of little rocks. By a fallen cornstalk I met two of my mouse friends. I gave them nibbles of food from the other apron pocket. I went on and saw a fat old toad by a clod. Mice and toads do have such beautiful eyes. I saw two caterpillars on an ear of corn after I turned the tassels back. All along the way I kept hearing voices. Little leaves were whispering, "Come, petite Francoise," over in the lane. I saw another mouse with beautiful eyes. Then I saw a man and woman coming across the field. The man was carrying a baby. Soon I met them. It was Larry and Jean and their little baby. They let me pat the baby's hand 1 8 THE STORY OF OPAL and smooth back its hair, for I do so love babies. When I grow up I want twins and eight more children, and I want to write outdoor books for children everywhere. To-night, after Larry and Jean started on, I turned again to wave good-bye. I remembered the first time I saw Larry and Jean, and the bit of poetry he said to her. They were standing by an old stump in the lane where the leaves whispered. Jean was crying. He patted her on the shoulder and said: "There, little girl, don't cry, I'll come back and marry you by-and-by." And he did. And the angels looking down from heaven saw their happiness and brought a baby real soon, when they had been married most five months; which was very nice, for a baby is such a comfort and twins are a multiplication table of blessings. And Felix Mendelssohn is yet so little a person, and the baby of Larry and Jean is growed more big. On the day I did hear him say to her that poetry it was then I did find Felix Mendels- sohn there in the lane near to them. He was only a wee little mouse then. And every week that he did grow a more week old, I just put one more gray stone in the row of his growing. And there was nineteen more gray stones in the row when the An- gels did bring the dear baby to Larry and Jean than there was stones in the row when they was married. And now there are a goodly number more stones in THE STORY OF OPAL 19 the row of Felix Mendelssohn's weeks of growing old. I have feels that there will be friendship between the dear mouse Felix Mendelssohn and the dear baby of Larry and Jean. For by the stump where he did say that poetry to her was the abiding place of Felix Mendelssohn when I did have finding of him. This eventime he did snuggle more close by my curls. I have so much likes for him. I did tell him that this night-time he is to have sleeps close by. When we were gone a little way, I did turn again to wave good-bye to the baby of Larry and Jean. After I waved good-bye to the dear baby, I thought I 'd go around by the lane where I first saw them and heard him say to her that poetry. It is such a lovely lane. I call it our lane. Of course, it does n't belong to Brave Horatius and Lars Por- sena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and I and all the rest of us. It belongs to a big man that lives in a big house, but it is our lane more than it is his lane, because he does n't know the grass and flowers that grow there, and the birds that nest there, and the lizards that run along the fence, and the caterpillars and beetles that go walking along the roads made by the wagon wheels. And he does n't stop to talk to the trees that grow all along the lane. All those trees are my friends. I call them by names I have given to them. I call them Hugh Capet and Saint Louis and Good King Edward I; 20 THE STORY OF OPAL and the tallest one of all is Charlemagne, and the one around where the little flowers talk most is William Wordsworth, and there are Byron and Keats and Shelley. When I go straight for the milk, I do so like to come around this way by the lane and talk to these tree friends. I stopped to-night to give to each a word of greeting. When I got to the end of the lane, I climbed the gate and thought I had better hurry straight on to get the milk. When I went by the barn, I saw a mouse run around the corner and a graceful bat came near unto the barn-door. I got the milk. It was near dark time, so I came again home by the lane and along the corduroy road. When I got most home, I happened to remember the mamma wanted the milk in a hurry, so I began to hurry. I don't think I '11 print more to-night. I printed this sitting on the wood-box, where the mamma put me after she spanked me after I got home with the milk. Now I think I shall go out the bedroom win- dow and talk to the stars. They always smile so friendly. This is a very wonderful world to live in. CHAPTER IV How Peter Paul Rubens Goes to School. IN the morning of to-day, when I was come part way to school, when I was come to the ending of the lane, I met a glad surprise. There was my dear pet pig awaiting for me. I gave him three joy pats on the nose, and I did call him by name ten times. I was so glad to see him. Being as I got a late start to school, I did n't have enough time to go around by the pig-pen for our morning talk. And there he was awaiting for me, at the ending of the lane. And his name it is Peter Paul Rubens. His name is that because the first day I saw him was on the twenty-ninth of June. He was little then a very plump young pig with a little red ribbon squeal and a wanting to go everywhere I did go. Sometimes he would squeal and I would n't go to find out what he wanted. Then one day, when his nose was sore, he did give such an odd pain squeal. Of course I run a quick run to help him. After that, when he had a chance he would come to the kitchen door and give that same squeal. That Peter Paul Rubens seemed to know that was the only one of all his squeals that would bring me at once to where he was. And this morning, when I did start on to school, 22 THE STORY OF OPAL he gave that same squeal and came a-following after. When he was caught up with me he gave a grunt, and then he gave his little red ribbon squeal. A lump came up in my throat and I could n't tell him to turn around and go back to the pig-pen. So we just went along to school together. When we got there school was already took up. I went in first. The new teacher came back to tell me I was tardy again. She did look out the door. She saw my dear Peter Paul Rubens. She did ask me where that pig came from. I just started in to tell her all about him, from the day I first met him. She did look long looks at me. She did look those looks for a long time. I made pleats in my apron with my fingers. I made nine on one side and three on the other side. When I was through counting the pleats I did make in my apron, I did ask her what she was looking those long looks at me for. She said, "I'm screwtineyesing you." I never did hear that word before. It is a new word. It does have an interest sound. I think I will have uses for it. Now when I look long looks at a thing I will print I did screwtineyes it. After she did look more long looks at me, she went back to her desk by the blackboard. She did call the sixth grade fiziologie class. I went to my seat. I only sat half way in it. I so did so I would have seeing of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. He did wait at the steps. He looked long looks toward the door. It was n't long until he walked right in. I THE STORY OF OPAL 23 felt such an amount of satisfaction having him at school. Teacher felt not so. Now I have wonders about things. I wonder why was it teacher did n't want Peter Paul Rubens coming to school. Why, he did make such a sweet picture as he did stand there in the doorway looking looks about. And the grunts he gave, they were such nice ones. He stood there saying: "I have come to your school. What class are you going to put me in?" He said in plain grunts the very same words I did say the first day I came to school. The children all turned around in their seats. I'm sure they were glad he was come to school and him talking there in that dear way. But I guess our teacher does n't have under- standing of pig-talk. She just came at him in such a hurry with a stick of wood. And when I made interferes, she did send us both home in a quick way. We did have a most happy time coming home. We did go on an exploration trip. Before we were gone far, we did have hungry feels. I took the lid off the lard-bucket that my school lunch was in. I did make divides of all my bread and butter. Part I gave to Peter Paul Rubens and he did have appreciations. He did grunt grunts for some more. Pretty soon it was all gone. We did go on. We went on to the woods. I did dig up little plants with leaves that do stay green all winter. We saw many beautiful things. Most everything we did see I did explain about it to Peter Paul Rubens. I 24 THE STORY OF OPAL told him why all about why I was digging up so many of the little plants. I did want him to have understanding that I was going to plant them again. When I did have almost forty-five, and it was come near eventime, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium did come to meet us. When I did have forty-five plants, we all did go in the way that does lead to the cathedral, for this is the horning day of Girolamo Savonarola. And in the cathedral I did plant little plants as many years as he was old. Forty-five I did so plant. And we had prayers and came home. CHAPTER V How Opal Comforted Aphrodite, and how the Fairies Comforted Opal when there Was Much Sadness at School. APHRODITE has got a nice blue ribbon all her very own, to wear when we go walking down the lane and to services in the cathedral. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did give to Sadie McKibben the money to buy it last time she went to the mill town. That was on the afternoon of the day before yesterday. On yesterday, when I was coming my way home from school, I did meet with Sadie McKibben. It was nice to see her freckles and the smiles in her eyes. She did have me to shut my eyes, and she did lay in my hand the new blue ribbon for Aphrodite that the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did have her to get. I felt glad feels all over. I gave her all our thanks. I did have knowing all my animal friends would be glad for the remembers of the needs of Aphrodite, for a blue ribbon. I did have beginnings of hurry feels to go to the pig-pen. I have thinks Sadie McKibben saw the hurrys in my eyes. She said she would like to go hurrys to the pig-pen too, but she was on her way to the house of Mrs. Limberger. She did kiss me good-bye two on the cheeks and one on the nose. 26 THE STORY OF OPAL I run a quick run to the pig-pen to show it to Aphrodite. I gave her little pats on the nose and long rubs on the ears, and I did tell her all about it. I did hold it close to her eyes so she could have well seeing of its beautiful blues like the blues of the sky. She did grunt thank grunts, and she had wants to go for a walk right away. I did make in- vest tag ashuns where there used to be a weak place in the pig-pen. It was not any more. I did look close looks at it. I made pulls, but nothing made little slips. Before it was not like that. I have thinks that chore boy is giving too much at ten chuns to the fence of this pig-pen that Aphro- dite has living in all of the time I am not taking her on walks. I did feel some sad feels when I could not take her walking down the lane with her nice new blue ribbon on. While I did feel the sad feels so, I did carry bracken ferns to make her a nice bed. It brought her feels of where we were going for walks where the bracken ferns grew. When I did have her a nice bed of bracken fern and some more all about her, I went goes to get the other folks. Back with me came Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chat- terton Jupiter Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Vir- gil and Felix Mendelssohn and Louis II, le Grand Conde. When we were all come, I did climb into the pig-pen and I did tie on Aphrodite's new ribbon so they all might have seeing of its blues like the sky. I sang a little thank song, and we had prayers, THE STORY OF OPAL 27 and I gave Aphrodite little scratches on the back with a little stick, like she does so like to have me do. That was to make up for her not getting to go for a walk where the bracken ferns grow. Now teacher is looking very straight looks at me. She says, "Opal, put that away." I so do. To-day it is I do sit here at my desk while the children are out for play for recess-time. I sit here and I do print. I cannot have goings to talk with the trees that I do mostly have talks with at recess- time. I cannot have goings down to the riviere across the road, like I do so go sometimes at recess- time. I sit here in my seat. Teacher says I must stay in all this whole recess-time. It was after some of our reading lessons this morning it was then teacher did ask questions of all the school. First she asked Jimmy eight things at once. She did ask him what is a horse and a donkey and a squirrel and a engine and a road and a snake and a store and a rat. And he did tell her all. He did tell her in his way. They she asked Big Jud some things, and he got up in a slow way and said, "I don't know," like he most always does, and he sat down. Then she asked Lola some things, and Lola did tell her all in one breath. And teacher marked her a good mark in the book and she gave Lola a smile. And Lola gave her nice red hair a smooth back and smiled a smile back at teacher. 28 THE STORY OF OPAL Then it was teacher did call my name. I stood up real quick. I did have thinks it would be nice to get a smile from her like the smile she did smile upon Lola. And teacher did ask me eight things at once. She did ask me what is a pig and a mouse and a baby deer and a duck and a turkey and a fish and a colt and a blackbird. And I did say in a real quick way, "A pig is a cochon and a mouse is a mu- lot and a baby deer is a daine and a duck is a canard and a turkey is a dindon and a fish is a poisson and a colt is a poulain and a blackbird is a merle." And after each one I did say, teacher did shake her head and say, "It is not"; and I did say, "It is." When I was all through, she did say, "You have them all wrong. You have not told what they are. They are not what you said they are." And when she said that I did just say, "They are they are they are." Teacher said, "Opal, you sit down." I so did. But when I sat down I said, "A pig is a cochon a mouse is a mulot a baby deer is a daine a duck is a canard a turkey is a dindon a fish is a poisson a colt is a poulain a blackbird is a merle." Teacher says, "Opal, for that you are going to stay in next recess and both recess-times to-morrow and the next day and the next day." Then she did look a look at all the school, and she did say as how my not getting to go out for recess- times would be an egg sam pull for all the other children in our school. THE STORY OF OPAL 29 They are out at play. It is a most long recess, but I do know a pig is a cochon, and a mouse is a mulot and a baby deer is a daine and a duck is a canard and a turkey is a dindon and a fish is a poisson and a colt is a poulain and a blackbird is a merle. So I do know, for Angel Father always did call them so. He knows. He knows what things are. But no one hereabouts does call things by the names Angel Father did. Sometimes I do have thinks this world is a different world to live in. I do have lonesome feels. This is a most long recess. While here I do sit I do hear the talkings of the more big girls outside the window most near unto my desk. The children are playing Black Man and the ones more little are playing tag. I have thinks as how nice it would be to be having talks with Good King Edward I and lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile and Peter Paul Rubens and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Aphrodite. And I do think this is a most long recess. I still do have hearings of the talkings of the girls outside the windows. The more old girls are talking what they want. Martha says she wants a bow. I don't have seeings why she wants another one. Both her braids were tied back this morning- time with a new bow, and its color was the color of the blossoms of camarine. Lola says she wants a white silk dress. She says her life will be complete 30 THE STORY OF OPAL when she does have on a white silk dress a white silk dress with a little ruffle around the neck and one around each sleeve. She says she will be a great lady then; and she says all the children will gather around her and sing when she has her white silk dress on. And while they sing and while she does have her white silk dress on, she will stand up and stretch out her arms and bestow her blessing on all the people like the deacon does in the church at the mill town. Now teacher is come to the door. She does say, "Opal, you may eat your lunch at your desk." I did have hungry feels and all this is noon-time instead of short recess-time. It so has been a long recess-time. I did have thinks when came noon- time of all the things I would do down by the riviere. Now I do gather seeds along the road and in the field. I lay in rows side by side the seeds I gather. With them I do play comparer. I look near looks at them. I do so to see how they look not like one another. Some are big and some are not so. And some are more large than others are large. And some do have wrinkles on them. And some have little wings and some do have silken sails. Many so of all I did see on my way coming home from school on this eventime, and too I did see four gray squirrels and two chipmunks; and when I was come near the meeting of the roads I saw a tramper THE STORY OF OPAL 31 coming down the railroad track where the dinky engine comes with cars of lumbers from the upper camps. This tramper he did have a big roll on his back and he walked steps on the ties in a slow tired way. When I was come more near to the track, I did have thinks he might have hungry feels. Most trampers do. While I was having thinks about it, I took the lid off my dinner-pail. There was just a half a piece of bread and butter left. I was saving that. I was saving it to make divides between Peter Paul Rubens and Aphrodite and Felix Men- delssohn and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and the rest of us. I did look looks from that piece of bread and butter in the dinner-pail to the tramper going down the railroad track. I did have little feels of the big hungry feels he might be having. I ran a quick run to catch up with him. He was glad for it. He ate it in two bites, and I came a quick way to our lane. I went along it. I made a stop by a hazel bush. I did stop to watch a caterpillar making his cradle. He did not move about while he did make it. He did roll himself up in a leaf. That almost hid him. He did weave white silk about him. I think it must be an interesting life to live a caterpillar life. Some days I do think I would like to be a caterpillar and by-and-by make a silk cradle. The silk a caterpillar makes its cradle from does come from its mouth. I have seen it so. But not so have I seen come the silk the spider does 32 THE STORY OF OPAL make its web of. This silk does come from the back part of the back of the spider. When I was come to the house we live in, I did do the works the mamma did have for me to do. Then I made begins to fill the wood-box. When I did have ten sticks piled on its top, I looked to the door where the mamma was talking with Elsie. I did have sorry feels for the mamma. I heard her say she lost ten minutes. I did have wants to help her find them. I looked looks under the cupboard, and they were not there. I looked looks in the cook-table drawers, and they were not there. I looked looks into every machine-that-sews drawer, and I did n't find them. I crawled under the bed, but I had no seeing of them. Then I did look looks in all the corners of the house that we do live in. I looked looks all about. But I did n't find them. I have wonders where those ten minutes the mamma lost are gone. While I did look more looks about for them, she did say for me to get out of her way. I so did. I went to look for the fairies. I went to the near woods. I hid behind the trees and made little runs to big logs. I walked along the logs and I went among the ferns. I did tiptoe among the ferns. I looked looks about. I did touch fern-fronds and I did have feels of their gentle movements. I came to a big root. I hid in it. I so did to wait waits for the fairies that come among the big trees. While I did wait waits, I did have thinks about us J o fcl U DQ THE STORY OF OPAL 33 that letter I did write on the other day for more color pencils that I do have needs of to print with. I thought I would go to the moss-box by the old log. I thought I would have goes there to see if the faires yet did find my letter. I went. The letter it was gone. Then I did have joy feels all over. The color pencils they were come. There was a blue one and a green one and a yellow one. And there was a purple one and a brown one and a red one. I did look looks at them a long time. It was so nice, the quick way the fairies did bring them. While I was looking more looks at them, some one did come near the old root. It was my dear friend Peter Paul Rubens. I gave him four pats and I showed him all the color pencils. Then I did make a start to go to the mill by the far woods. Peter Paul Rubens went with me and Brave Horatius came a-following after. All the way along I did feel glad feels, and I had thinks how happy the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice would be when he did see how quick the fairies did answer my letter and bring the color pencils. When we were come near the mill by the far woods, it was near gray-light-time. The lumber men were on their home way. They did whistle as they did go. Two went side by side, and three came after. And one came after all. It was the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. Brave Horatius made a quick run to meet him, and I did follow after. I did have him guess what it was the 34 THE STORY OF OPAL fairies did bring this time. He guessed a sugar- lump for William Shakespeare every day next week. I told him it was n't a right guess. He guessed some more. But he could n't guess right, so I showed them all to him. He was so surprised. He said he was so surprised the fairies did bring them this soon. And he was so glad about it. He always is. He and I we do have knows the fairies walk often in these woods, and when I do have needs of more color pencils to make more prints with, I do write the fairies about it. I write to them a little letter on leaves of trees and I do put it in the moss-box at the end of the old log. Then, after they do come walking in the woods and find the letter in the moss-box, they do bring the color pencils, and they lay them in the moss-box. I find them there and I am happy. No one does have knowing of that moss-box but one. He is the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He has knowings of the letters I do print on leaves and put there for the fairies. And after he does ask me, and after I do tell him I have wrote to them for color pencils that I have needs of he does take a little fern plant and make a fern wish with it that the fairies will bring to me the color pencils I have needs of. Then we do plant the little fern by the old log. And the time is not long until I do find the color pencils in the moss- box by the old log. I am very happy. CHAPTER VI Opal Gives Wisdom to the Potatoes, Cleanliness to the Family Clothes, and a Delicate Dinner to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. TO-DAY the grandpa dug potatoes in the field. Too, the chore boy did dig potatoes in the field. I followed along after. My work was to pick up the potatoes they got out of the ground. I picked them up and piled them in piles. Some of them were very plump. Some of them were not big. All of them wore brown dresses. When they were in piles, I did stop to take looks at them. I walked up close. I looked them all over. I walked off and took a long look at them. Potatoes are very interesting folks. I think they must see a lot of what is going on in the earth; they have so many eyes. And after I did look those looks as I did go along, I did count the eyes that every potato did have, and their num- bers were in blessings. To some piles I did stop to give geology lectures, and some I did tell about the nursery and the cater- pillars in it the caterpillars that are going to hiver sleep in silken cradles, and some in woolen so go. To more potatoes I did tell about my hospital at St.-Germain-en-Laye in the near woods, and all about the folks that were in it and that are in it, 36 THE STORY OF OPAL and how much prayers and songs and mentholatum helps them to have well feels. And to some other potatoes I did talk about my friends about the talks that William Shake- speare and I do have together; and about how Lars Porsena of Clusium does have a fondness for col- lecting things, and how he does hide them in the oak tree near unto the house we live in; and about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the poetry in her tracks. And one I did tell about the new ribbon Aphrodite has to wear, and how she does have a fondness for chocolate creams. To the potato most near unto it I did tell of the little bell that Peter Paul Rubens does wear to cathedral service. To the one next to it I did tell how Louis II, le Grand Conde, is a mouse of gentle ways, and how he does have likings to ride in my sleeve. And all the times I was picking up potatoes I did have conversations with them. Too, I did have thinks of all their growing days there in the ground, and all the things they did hear. Earth-voices are glad voices, and earth-songs come up from the ground through the plants; and in their flowering and in the days before these days are come, they do tell the earth-songs to the wind. And the wind in her goings does whisper them to folks to print for other folks. So other folks do have knowing of earth's songs. When I grow up I am going to write for children and grown-ups that have n't grown up too much all the earth-songs I now do hear. THE STORY OF OPAL 37 I have thinks these potatoes growing here did have knowings of star-songs. I have kept watch in the field at night and I have seen the stars look kindness down upon them. And I have walked be- tween the rows of potatoes, and I have watched the star-gleams on their leaves. And I have heard the wind ask of them the star-songs the star-gleams did tell in shadows on their leaves. And as the wind did go walking in the field talking to the earth-voices there, I did follow her down the rows. I did have feels of her presence near. And her goings by made ripples on my nightgown. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did cuddle more close up in my arms. And Brave Horatius followed after. Sometimes, when a time long it is I have been walking and listening to the voices of the night, then it is Brave Horatius does catch the corner of my nightgown in his mouth and he pulls he pulls most hard in the way that does go to the house we live in. After he does pull, he barks the barks he always does bark when he has thinks it is home- going time. I listen. Sometimes I go back. He goes with me. Sometimes I go on. He goes with me. And often it is he is here come with me to this field where the potatoes grow. And he knows most all the poetry I have told them. On the afternoon of to-day, when I did have a goodly number of potatoes in piles, I did have thinks as how this was the going-away day of Saint Francois of Assisi and the borning day of Jean 3 8 THE STORY OF OPAL Francois Millet; so I did take as many potatoes as they years did dwell upon earth. Forty-four potatoes I so took for Saint Francois of Assisi, for his years were near unto forty-four. Sixty potatoes I so took for Jean Francois Millet, for his years were sixty years. All these potatoes I did lay in two rows. In one row was forty-four and in the other row was sixty. And as I had seeing of them all there, I did have thinks to have a choir. First I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus." After I did sing it three times, I did have thinks as how it would be nice to have more in the choir. And I did have remembers as how to-morrow is the going-away day of Philippe III, roi de France; and so for the forty years that were his years I did bring forty more potatoes in a row. That made more in the choir. Then I did sing three times over, "Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto. Hosanna in excelsis." Before I did get all through the last time with Hosanna in excelsis, I did have thinks as how the next day after that day would be the borning day of Louis Philippe, roi de France, and the going- away day of Alfred Tennyson. And I did bring more potatoes for the choir. Seventy-six I did so bring for the years that were the years of Louis Philippe, roi de France. Eighty-three I so did bring for the years that were the years of Alfred Tennyson. And the choir there was a goodly number of folks in it all potato folks wearing brown robes. Then I did sing one " Ave Maria." THE STORY OF OPAL 39 I was going to sing one more, when I did have thinks as how the next day after the next day after the next day would be the going-away day of Sir Philip Sidney; so I did bring thirty-one more pota- toes for the choir. It did take a more long time to bring them, because all the potatoes near about were already in the choir. Brave Horatius did walk by my side, and he did have seeing as how I was bringing potatoes to the choir. And so he did bring some one at a time he did pick them up and bring them, just like he does pick up a stick of wood in his mouth when I am carrying in wood. He is a most helpful dog. To-day I did have needs to keep watches. I did so have needs to see that he put not more potatoes in the other choir-rows. First time he did bring a potato, he did lay it down by the choir-row of Alfred Tennyson. Next potato he did bring he did lay it by the choir-row of Jean Francois Millet. Next time I made a quick run when I did have seeing of him going to lay it down by the choir-row of Philippe III, roi de France. I did pat my foot and tell him where to lay it for the choir-row of Sir Philip Sidney. He so did. We did go for more. When there were thirty-one potatoes in the choir-row of Sir Philip Sidney, we did start service again. I did begin with "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus." And Brave Horatius did bark Amen. Then I did begin all over, and he did so again. After we had prayers, I did sing one more 40 THE STORY OF OPAL "Ave Maria." Then I did begin to sing "Deo Gratias, Hosanna in excelsis," but I came not unto its ending. Brave Horatius did bark Amen before I was half done. I just went on. He walked in front of me and did bark Amen three times. I was just going to sing the all of it. I did not so. I so did not because the chore boy did have steps behind me. He gave me three shoulder-shakes, and he did tell me to get a hurry on me and get those potatoes picked up. I so did. I so did in a most quick way. The time it did take to pick them up it was not a long time. And after that there was more potatoes to pick up. Brave Horatius did follow after. He gave helps. He did lay the pota- toes he did pick up on the piles I did pick up. He is a most good dog. When near gray-light-time was come, the chore boy went from the field. When most-dark-time was come Brave Horatius and I so went. When we were come to the house we live in, the folks was gone to visit at the house of Elsie. I did take my bowl of bread and milk, and I did eat it on the back steps. Brave Horatius ate his supper near me. He did eat his all long before I did mine. So I did give him some of mine. Then we watched the stars come out. I did not have goings to school to-day, for this is wash-day and the mamma did have needs of me at home. There was baby clothes to wash. The mamma does say that is my work, and I do try to do it in THE STORY OF OPAL 41 the proper way she does say it ought to be done. It does take quite a long time, and all the-time it is taking I do have longings to go on exploration trips. And I do want to go talk with William Shakespeare there where he is pulling logs in the near woods. And I do want to go talk with Eliza- beth Barrett Browning in the pasture, and with Peter Paul Rubens and Aphrodite in the pig-pens. All the time it does take to wash the clothes of the baby it is a long time. And I do stop at in- between times to listen to the voices. They are always talking. And the brook that does go by our house is always bringing songs from the hills. When the clothes of the baby were most white, I did bring them again to the wash-bench that does set on the porch that does go out from our back door. Then there was the chickens to feed, and the stockings were to rub. Stockings do have needs of many rubs. That makes them clean. While I did do the rubs, I did sing little songs to the grasses that grow about our door. After the stockings did have many rubs, the baby it was to tend. I did sing it songs of songs Angel Mother did sing to me. And sleeps came upon the baby. But she is a baby that does have wake-ups between times. To-day she had a goodly number. By-and-by, when the washing was part done, then the mamma went away to the grandma's house to get some soap. When she went away she did say she wished she did n't have to bother with 42 THE STORY OF OPAL carrying water to scrub the floor. She does n't. While she has been gone a good while, I have plenty of water on the floor for her to mop it when she gets back. When she did go away, she said to me to wring the clothes out of the wash. There were a lot of clothes in the wash skirts and aprons and shirts and dresses and clothes that you wear under dresses. Every bit of clothes I took out of the tubs I carried into the kitchen and squeezed all the water out on the kitchen floor. That makes lots of water everywhere under the cook-table and under the cupboard and under the stove. Why, there is most enough water to mop the three floors, and then some water would be left over. I did feel glad feels because it was so as the mamma did want it. While I did wait for her coming, I did make prints and mind the baby. When the mamma was come, she did look not glad looks at the water on the floor. She did only look looks for the switches over the kitchen window. After I did have many sore feels, she put me out the door to stay out. I did have sorry feels for her. I did so try hard to be helps. When a little way I was gone from the door, I did look looks about. I saw brown leaves and brown birds. Brown leaves were erable leaves and chene leaves, and the brown birds were wrens. And all their ways were hurry ways. I did turn about and I did go in a hurry way to a root in the near woods. THE STORY OF OPAL 43 I so went to get my little candle. Then I did go to the Jardin des Tuileries. Often it is I do go there near unto the near woods. Many days after I was here come, I did go ways to look for Jardin des Tuileries. I found it not. Sadie McKibben did say there is none such here. Then being needs for it and it being not, I did have it so. And in it I have put statues of hiver and all the others, and here I do plant plants and little trees. And every little tree that I did plant it was for someone that was. And on their borning days I do hold services by the trees I have so planted for them. To-day I did go in quick steps to the tree I have planted for Louis Philippe, roi de France, for this is the day of his borning in 1773. I did have prayers. Then I did light my little candle. Seventy-six big candles Angel Father did so light for him, but so I cannot do, for only one little candle I have. It did burn in a bright way. Then I did sing "Deo Gratias." I so did sing for the borning day of Louis Philippe, roi de France. Then I did sing "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus." Afterwards I did have thinks about Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus about his nose, its feels. I so went in the way that does go to the hospital. That dear pet rat's nose is getting well. Some way he got his nose too near that trap they set for rats in the barn. Of course, when I found him that morning I let him right out of the trap. He has a ward all to himself in the hospital. For breakfast 44 THE STORY OF OPAL he has some of my oatmeal. For dinner he has some of my dinner. And for supper I carry to him corn in a jar lid. Sadie McKibben, who has on her face many freckles and a kind heart, gives me enough mentholatum to put on his nose seven times a day. And he is growing better. And to-day when I was come to the hospital, I took him in my arms. He did cuddle up. Too, he gave his cheese squeak. That made me have lonesome feels. I can't carry cheese to him any more out of the house we live in. I can't be- cause, when the mamma learned that I was carry- ing cheese to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, she said to me while she did apply a kindling to the back part of me : ' Don't you dare carry any more cheese out to that rat." And since then I do not carry cheese out to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, but I do carry him into the kitchen to the cheese. I let him sniff long sniffs at it. Then I push his nose back and I cut from the big piece of cheese delicate slices for Thomas Ghatterton Jupiter Zeus. This I do when the mamma is n't at home. To-day, she being come again to the house we live in, I could not have goings there for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to the cheese. I did go the way that goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. I did go that way so she might have knowings of the nose-improvements of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. When I was most come here he did squeak more of his cheese squeaks. It was most hard THE STORY OF OPAL 45 having hearing of him and not having cheese for him. I could hardly keep from crying. He is a most lovely wood-rat, and all his ways are ways of gentleness. And he is just like the mamma's baby when he squeaks he does have expects to get what he squeaks for. I did cuddle him up more close in my arms. And he had not squeaks again for some little time. It was when I was talking to Sadie McKibben about the chateau of Neuilly that I do have most part done it was then he did give his squeaks. He began and went on and did con- tinue so. I just could n't keep from crying. His cheese longings are like my longings for Angel Mother and Angel Father. He did just crawl up and put his nose against my curls. I did stand first on one foot and then on the other. The things I was going to say did go in a swallow down my throat. Sadie McKibben did wipe her hands on her blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it. She did have askings what was the matter with Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. And I just said, "O Sadie McKibben, it's his cheese squeak." And she said not a word, but she did go in a quick way to her kitchen. She brought back a piece of cheese. It was n't a little piece. It was a great big piece. There's enough in it for four breakfasts and six dinners. When Sadie McKibben did give it to me for him, she did smooth back my curls and she did give me three kisses one on each cheek and one on the nose. She smiled her smile upon us, and we 46 THE STORY OF OPAL .re ::_ s: dA?T;\ .-.:.d vre did r: :r:rd her h:use i r 7 ~ . . e ri'dness ~ L_~ id .-.*"d ~~e r r -;c ~ ~ V: d - e . _ . _ _ _^ _.,.,., -'^._* -L______,^ V^ , _x _ fc Zeas. CHAPTER VII The Adventure of the Tram per; and u-hai Happens on Long : :i on Short DC TO-DAY was a fall-time-is-here day. I heard the men say so that were talking at the meeting of the roads. From the meeting of the roads I did huny on. I so did in a quick way becau-:. when I was come to the meeting of the roads, I did have remem- bers as how the mamma did say at morning-time there was much work to be done before eventime. When I was come to the house we live in, the mamma and the little girl and the baby th were all gone to the house of Elsie. I made a start at the works. I did feed the chickens, and ther-:- was much wood to bring in. and baby clothes to wash, and ashes to empty from the stove. These four things I did. I looked looks about to see what other works did have needs to be done. I had remembers that when the papa went away to work this morning he said he did not have time to cut the ham before he went. I have knows if he is too busy in the morning to get a thing done, it mostly don't get done when he comes home from work at night. It S3 dies not, because he has so tired feels. To-day I had thinks the time was come wher. I better help about that ham. I went out to the wood- 48 THE STORY OF OPAL shed. I went not out to get wood. I went out to the wood-shed to 'tend to that ham. I had thinks I better make an early start or that ham wouldn't be cut up by evening. I piled wood high enough so I could stand on tiptoes and reach to the flour-sack the ham was tied in. But I could not get that sack down. I pulled and pulled, but it would n't come down. I did n't have knows what I was going to do. Pretty soon, by having concentration of my thinks, I thought of a way. I got the scissors and cut the bottom out of that sack. That ham came down right quick. It landed on its back on the woodpile. My foot slipped and I landed on top of it. I got up and dragged it up on the chopping- block. Then I got the butcher knife from its place in the cook-table drawer. I went to work. That knife did n't seem to make moves like the moves it does make when it is in the hands of the papa. I tried to make it go down in a quick way. It went not so. I looked close looks at it. Its appears did have looks like it did have needs of a sharp penny- ing. I have seen the papa sharp pen it on the grind- stone by the singing brook. So did I. I poured a goodly amount of water on that stone wheel. Most of the water splashed off. The rest did trickle away. Then I did hold that knife to the stone wheel. And I did make tries to turn it in a quick way like I have seen the papa do. But I could not make that wheel go in quick turns. It would not so go. I made big tries for a long time. THE STORY OF OPAL 49 When I had thinks the knife did look some bet- ter, I did go again to my work. I walked three times around that ham there on the chopping- block. I so did to take looks at it to see where I better make begins. I did have thinks in under its outside where it is most big would be the proper place. I made begins. I did make the knife to go a little way. Then I made a stop to rest. Then I made the knife go some more. I made another stop to rest. I went on. Pretty soon a slice of ham landed. It fell off the chopping-block onto a stick of wood. I picked it up. I held it up to take a look at it. My, I did feel such proud feels from my toes to my curls. I had it cut in such a nice way. It had frills around it and holes in between just like Elsie's crochet doily that she keeps on her best stand-table. I have knows the papa never did cut a slice of ham that way. The slices of ham he cuts they never do have frilly looks with holes in between. After I did hang that slice of ham on a nail by the door, I did cut another slice. It was not so wide but it had more longness and some strings on it like the little short strings on the nightcap of Jenny Strong. I had not decides yet where to hang it. It was when I was having thinks about it it was then I did hear a heavy step. I turned me all about, and there was a tramper by the wood-shed door. He had not gentle looks like some trampers have. His beard did grow in the hobo way. And his appears did look like he 50 THE STORY OF OPAL knew not knowings of neatness. He stood there looking looks at that ham. He kept his looks on it, and he did walk right into the wood-shed. He had asking if the mamma was at home. I said, "No, she is not. She is at the house of Elsie." Then he says, " I guess I '11 take this ham along with me." I almost lost my breathings, because I did have remembers of all the days the papa has plans to have that ham for breakfast and dinner and supper. So I just sat down on the chopping-block. I sat on the ham and I spread my blue calicoe apron out over it. I put my hand on its handle that it hangs in the wood-shed by. Me and my apron covered that ham so he could n't have seeing of it. And while I sat on the ham, I did pray God to keep it safe for the breakfasts and dinners and suppers of the papa and the mamma. The tramper looked queer looks at me. He came a little more near. I did pray on. And God in his goodness sent answers to my prayer in a quick way. Brave Horatius came on a run from somewhere. He made a stop at the wood-shed door. He looked a look in. He gave a growl. Then he went at that tramper. He did grab him by his ragged pants. I have thinks may be his teeth did touch the ankle of the tramper, because he gave a little pain squeal and shook his leg. Then he did go in a hurry away. Brave Horatius followed after. I was just going to start work again on that ham, when the mamma was come home from her visit. THE STORY OF OPAL 51 She did soon give me a whipping and put me here under the bed. Now I have wonders what that whipping was for. I did feed the chickens and carry in the wood and do the baby's washing and empty the ashes. And more I did beside I cut two slices of ham with frills on them. Now I have thinks about trampers how they do differ. Many of them follow the railroad track. They make goes to the upper camps beyond the riviere. They do carry a roll on their backs. They so carry their blankets. They go that way and some of them come down the track very soon again. Some stay nowhere long. Some of the trampers that go the way that goes to the upper camps do have stops when they go by here. They stop to get a bite to eat. And some come to the front door, and some do come to the back door. They knock on the door. Some rap their knuckles hard and some tap in a gentle way. There was one who so did one week ago. Sleeps was just come upon the baby after I did sing it " Le chanson de Saint Firmin," and I did go to the door to see who it was. The man that it was, he said he was on his way to get work at the upper camps. He was a man with a clean sad face and a kind look in his eyes. And the roll upon his back was a heavy roll. I straightway did go and get my bowl of bread and milk that I was going to have for dinner. I gave it to him. He ate it in a hungry way, like Brave Horatius does eat his supper when we are 52 THE STORY OF OPAL come back from a long explore trip. Then, when the man did eat all the bread and milk, he did split some wood out in the woodshed. He did pile it up in a nice way. Then he went. He went on to the upper camps. When he did go he said, "The Lord's blessing be with you, child." I said, "It is." And I did tell him, "We have a cathedral in the woods and this eventime, when we have prayers there, we will pray that you may get work at the upper camps." And at coming of eventime we did. And Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times. Now every day we do pray for the man that was hungry and had a kind look in his eyes. Some days are long. Some days are short. The days that I have to stay in the house are the most long days of all. In the morningtime of now, I had thinks to go on explores. I was going to Saint Firmin and adown the Nonette. I was going to listen to its singings. And Peter Paul Rubens and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus we were all going together. When I did have the wood in the wood-box, the mamma hollered at me. She said when she got back from Elsie's she was going to make me stay in the house all the rest of the day. While she was gone to the house of Elsie, I did make prepares. I took all the safety-pins out of the machine drawer. I took all the patch-pieces out of the mamma's work-basket. I made patches THE STORY OF OPAL 53 all over my underskirt except where I do sit down. I put Louis II, le Grand Conde, in one of the pock- ets I did so make. I put Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil in another one. In one more pocket I put Felix Mendelssohn. He peeked out. Then he set- tled down. He so does like to take naps in the pock- ets I pin on my underskirts. I put Nannerl Mozart in another pocket. Then, when the mamma was come, I did walk into the house in a quiet way. Before she did go she told me do's to do while she was gone. She told me to keep the fire going and to tend the baby to fix its bottle for it and to mind it all the time. Then she shut the door and locked it and went in the way that does go to the house of the grandma by the meeting of the roads. I did watch her out the window. Then I did put some more wood in the fire. After that I did look looks about. There are no rows and rows and rows of books in this house, like Angel Mother and Angel Father had. There is only three books here. One is a cook-book and one is a doctor-book and one is a almanac. They all are on top of the cupboard most against the top of the house. They have not interest names on their backs. The alarm-clock does set on the shelf where it always sets all day long. At night-time it sets on a chair by the bed that the mamma and the papa sleep in. It sets on the chair all night with its alarm set. It is so the papa will be made awake early in the morning. That clock has interest looks. Some day when 54 THE STORY OF OPAL there is not a fire in the stove, I have thinks I will take that clock apart to see what its looks are in- side. On a day when there is no fire in the stove, L will climb upon it. I can reach that shelf when I stand on tiptoe on top of the stove. After I did look looks at the clock, I did look looks out the front window. There are calf-tracks by our front door. These tracks are there because when I went walking with Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing on yesterday, I had her wait at the front step while I did go into the kitchen to get her some sugar-lumps. She has a fondness for sweet things. I think she will grow up to be a lovely cow. Her mooings now are very musical, and there is poetry in her tracks. She does make such dainty ones. When they dry up in the lane, I dig up her tracks, and I save them. There is much poetry in them; and when I take her track out that I keep in the back part of the cook-table drawer, I look at it and think, this way passed Elizabeth Barrett Browning. After I did look looks out the front window, I did look looks out the back window. William Shake- speare and the others they were pulling in logs. That Rob Ryder was trying to make them go more fast. All the horses do have to pull so hard when they pull logs in. Sometimes they look tired looks, and when they are come in from work I go to the barn. I rub their heads; for when the mamma is tired she does like rubs on her head. CHAPTER VIII How Opal Takes a Walk in the Forest of Chantilly; she Visits Elsie and her Baby Boy, and Explains Many Things to the Girl that Has no Seeing. WHILE I did watch the horses, the baby had wake-ups. I went to sing her to sleep. I sang her about William Wordsworth. When sleeps was come upon the baby I had remembers when she went away the mamma wished she did have some varnish to shine up the furniture with. So while she is gone I have given the furniture a shine-up with vaseline. Vaseline gives just as bright a shine as varnish does. I have aunt tis a pay shuns the mamma will be pleased when her arrives come home. When the furniture was all fixed proper, I looked a look out the window. Raindrops were beginning to come down from the sky. Their coming was in a gentle way. I had longs to be out with them. I so do like to feel the raindrops patter on my head and I like to run runs and hold out my hands to meet them. There was more rain and there was sun- shine. There came across the sky the arc-en-ciel. Then was its going, and grayness after. I watched the raindrops in the brook going on and on. When I grow up I am going to write a book about a rain- drop's journey. 56 THE STORY OF OPAL While I did watch the raindrops I had longs to go to the foret de Chantilly and adown by Nonette. I did have thinks more about it. I took some of the wood out of the wood-box. I stood it up for trees. I called them all foret de Chantilly. We went a walk between them Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and I did. Then I took the dipper full of water and I let it pour in little pours a riviere on the kitchen floor. That was for Nonette. Then all of us went a walk by Nonette. We went in little steps to make the time go longer. Felix Mendelssohn perched on my shoulder. Louis II, le Grand Conde, did ride in my hands, and Nannerl Mozart in my apron pocket. I took some more water and the dipper and I made it go a little riviere to join Nonette. Then we went a walk by Lounette. And more I did pour in little pours to join Nonette. That was for Aunette. After we did have walks all in between the foret de Chantilly, I took more sticks from the wood- box back of the stove and I made another foret. Then we went walking in the foret d'Ermenonville. When we were come back from that walk, I made some lions out of cheese. Two I made. I made them to put in foret de Chantilly at the begins of route du Connetable. Then we went a walk again in foret de Chantilly. I had to have carefuls not to go a step too big, because I did stand the sticks of wood near unto one another, and if I took a big step they might have falls over. THE STORY OF OPAL 57 While I was standing up more sticks of woods for more trees in foret de Chantilly, the baby did have wake-ups. I went to sing it to sleep. I sang it about Good King Edward I. When I went again into the kitchen, there was Louis II, le Grand Conde, and Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mo- zart all in the foret de Chantilly. They were at the begins of the route du Connetable. They were nibbling nibbles at the two lions there of cheese. Already they did have ragged noses, where all of the three mouses did nibble nibbles. I have thinks I will have to make lions of stone for the begins of route du Connetable. The baby had wakes-up again. I did sing it to sleep with chant d' automne. Now I sit here and I print. The baby sleeps on. The wind comes creeping in under the door. It calls, "Come, come, petite Francoise, come." It calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the things that are to be found under leaves. It whis- pers the dreams of the tall fir trees. It does pipe the gentle song the forest sings on gray days. I hear all the voices calling me. I listen but I cannot go- Now are come the days of brown leaves. They fall from the trees. They flutter on the ground. When the brown leaves flutter, they are saying little things. They talk with the wind. I hear them tell of their borning days when they did come into the world as leaves. And they whisper of the hoods 5 8 THE STORY OF OPAL they wore then. I saw them. I use to count them on the way to school. To-day they were talking of the time before their horning days of this spring- time. They talked on and on, and I did listen on to what they were telling the wind and the earth in their whisperings. They told how they were a part of earth and air before their tree-borning days. And now they are going back. In gray days of winter they go back to the earth again. But they do not die. And in the morning of to-day it was that I did listen to these talkings of the brown leaves. Then I faced about. I turned my face and all of me to the way that leads to the house we live in, for there was much works to be done. When I was come to the house I went around and I did walk in the back doorway. The mamma was n't in. I took long looks about to see what works I best do first. There was washed-up dishes in a bake-pan, so I did dish-towel them all and put them away. There was needs to climb upon a chair and upon a box, to put those dishes where they ought to be put. While I was up there, I took looks about to see what there was. I saw a cake of bon ami. Bon ami is to give things a shine-up. And this morning I gave the knives a shine-up and the forks too. Then I tried bon ami on the black ket- tles and the bake-pans. It did not give unt them such nice appears, so I gave them a shine-up with vaseline. After that I did take the broom from its THE STORY OF OPAL 59 place, and I gave the floor a good brooming. I broomed the boards up and down and cross-ways. There was not a speck of dirt on them left. What I did sweep off with the broom, I did place into a shoe-box lid and dust it in the stove. Then the floor did look clean like the mamma does say it ought to look all the time. I put the broom back in its place where the mamma does say it ought to be. Then I did look looks from the floor to the win- dow. I thought I better clean the window too while I was fixing things. Just when I started to put bon ami on the window, I did look out to see what I could see. I saw Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon going in a slow walk by. He was giving his neck a stretch-out. He gave it another one, and when he made a swallow his throat did look appears of croup. And croup does always have needs of being fixed up. So I laid down the bon ami, and I went and I did pour a whole lot of coal-oil down the throat of Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon. That was to make his croup go away. Now he will be feeling well feels real soon. He did n't want to take the coal-oil. I had to hold him tight. Some turkey gobblers can kick most hard. When I did have him fixed I thought I better take looks about to see if any more folks did have croup appears. I yet did have some coal-oil left in the bottle. Few folks were about, and none did have croup looks. So I did go again to the cleaning of the window. When that was done in the proper 60 THE STORY OF OPAL way the mamma says it ought to be done, I did stop to eat some bread and milk, for it was after dinner-time and it was a long time before supper- time. After that I went out in the wood-shed where the papa keeps his tools. He keeps them in a big box.- Some days he forgets to lock the box. Those days I have very interesting times in the wood-shed. There are all kinds of queer-looking things in that tool-box. Just when I did have the lid open the mamma did call. She was come again home, and she sent me back to Elsie's to get the tidy she was crocheting that she did forget and leave there. So I did go the way that does lead to the house of Elsie. It is not far from the house we live in, and Elsie has not been married long. She only has one baby. She has much liking for it. Elsie is a very young girl a very young girl to be married, the mamma says. To-day when I came to the house of Elsie, she was trotting on her knee that dear baby boy the angels brought her when she did live at the other camp where we did live too. To him she was singing a song. It was " Gallop-a-trot, Gallop-a-trot, This is the way the gentlemen ride, Gallop-a-trot." She tossed her head as she did sing. And the joy- light danced in her eyes. THE STORY OF OPAL 61 I have thinks it must be wonderful happiness to be married. I have seen the same joy-light in the eyes of her tall young husband. It is there much when he is come home at eventide from work in the woods. Then she does have many kind words and kisses for him. He has adoors for her, and too he has a pumpadoor that he smooths back with vaseline. Why to-day I did see he had used most all of the vaseline out of that jar that sets on their kitchen shelf. That vaseline jar has an interest look. I have been watching it. And every day when I do stand on tiptoe and take peeks at it, there is not so much vaseline in it as there was in it the day before. I have thinks it does take a goodly amount to keep his pumpadoor smooth. While I was bringing home the tidy the mamma did leave at the house of Elsie, I met a chapine baby. He did sail away. Erable leaves did go in little hops, and so went I. Soon I saw a gray board. I did turn it over. Under that old gray board were five little silk bags. They were white and they did feel lumps. I know baby spiders will come out of them when comes spring days, because last year I found bags like these, and this year in the spring baby spiders walked out. They were very fidgety youngsters. Just when I did most have decides to take them to the nursery, I heard the mamma calling. I put the board back again in the way it was before I came that way. Then I did run a quick run to the 62 THE STORY OF OPAL house. And the mamma did send me in a hurry to the wood-shed. It was for two loads of wood she wanted. I did bring in the first load in a hurry. The second load I brought not so. I did pick up all the sticks my arms could hold. While I was picking them up, I looked long looks at them. I went not to the kitchen with them in a quick way. I was meditating. I did have thinks about the tree they all were before they got chopped up. I did wonder how I would feel if I was a very little piece of wood that got chopped out of a very big tree. I did think that it would have hurt my feel- ings. I felt of the feelings of the wood. They did have a very sad feel. Just when I was getting that topmost stick a bit wet with sympathy tears then the mamma did come up behind me with a switch. She said while she did switch, "Stop your meditations." And while she did switch, I did drop the wood. I felt the feels the sticks of wood felt when they hit the floor. Then I did pick them up with care and I put them all in the wood-box back of the cook-stove. I put them there because the mamma said I must put them there. But all the time I was churning I did hum a little song. It was a good-bye song to the sticks in the wood-box back of the kitchen stove. When the churning was done and the butter was come, the mamma did lift all the little lumps of butter out of the churn. Then she did pat them together in a big lump, and this she put away in THE STORY OF OPAL 63 the butter-box in the wood-shed. When she went to lay herself down to rest on the bed, she did call me to rub her head. I like to rub the mamma's head, for it does help the worry lines to go away. Often I rub her head, for it is often she does have longings to have it so. And I do think it is very nice to help people have what they do have long- ings for. By-and-by, when the mamma did have sleeps and after I did print, I did go to listen to the voices. The wind was calling. His calling was to little wood- folk and me. He did call more again: "Come, pe- tite Franoise, come go explores." He was in a rush. I raced. Brave Horatius ran. We played tag with the wind. The wind does have many things to tell. He does toss back one's curls so he can whisper things in one's ears. To-day he did twice push back my curls three times, that I might better hear what he did have to say. He whispered little whispers about the cradles of moths to be that hang a-swing- ing on the bushes in the woods. I went around to see about it. I looked looks on many bushes. Some brown leaves were swinging from some bushes. No cradles I found. By-and-by I came to a log. It was a nice little log. It was as long as three pigs as long as Peter Paul Rubens. I climbed upon it. I so did to look more looks about. The wind did blow in a real quick way. He made music all around. I danced on the log. It is so much a big amount of joy to 64 THE STORY OF OPAL dance on a log when the wind does play the harps in the forest. Then do I dance on tiptoe. I wave greetings to the plant-bush folks that do dance all about. To-day a grand pine tree did wave its arms to me. And the bush branches patted my cheek in a friendly way. The wind again did blow back my curls. They clasp the fingers of the bush people most near. I did turn around to untangle them. It is most difficult to dance on tiptoe on a log when one's curls are in a tangle with the branches of a friendly bush that grows near unto the log and does make bows to one while the wind doth blow. When I did turn to untangle my curls, I saw a silken cradle in a hazel branch. I have thinks that the wind did just tangle my curls so I would have seeing of that cradle. It was cream, with a hazel leaf half-way round it. I put it to my ear and I did listen. It had a little voice. It was not a tone voice. It was a heart voice. While I did listen, I did feel its feels. It has lovely ones. And I did hurry away in the way that does lead to the house of the girl that has no seeing. I went that way so she too might know its feels and hear its heart voice. She does so like to feel things. She has seeing by feels. Often I do carry things to her when I find them and she knows some of my friends. Peter Paul Rubens has gone with me to visit her. So has gone Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mozart the two mices with voices that squeak mouse-songs in the night. And Plato and Pliny, THE STORY OF OPAL 65 the two bats, and others go too. And their goings and what she has thinks about them I have printed here in my prints. And it is often I go the way that does lead to her house, for the girl who has no seeing she and I we are friends. One day I told her about the trees talking. Then she did want to know about the voices, and now I do help her to hear them. And too I tell her about comparer, that Angel Father did teach me to play, and I show her the way. She cannot look long looks at things, to see how they look not looks alike, because she has no seeing. So she is learning to play comparer by feels. To-day, after she did feel the feels of the cream cradle and we did play comparer, then she asked me what the trees were saying. And I led her out across her yard and away to the woods, and Brave Horatius did follow after. I led her in the way that does lead to that grand fir tree, Good King Louis VI. And when we were come unto him, I did touch his finger-tips to her cheeks. She liked that. Then we did stand near unto him, and I told her of the trees in the night, of the things they tell to the shadows that wander through the woods. She said she did n't think she would like to be a shadow. And just then she stubbed her toe. She did ask me what that was there near unto her foot. I told her it was a mile I did build there the ville of St. Denis. She wanted to know why I builded it there. I told her there was needs of it, being near unto 66 THE STORY OF OPAL Good King Louis VI, for he so loved it; so I builded it there where his branches shelter it and his kind- ness looks kind looks upon it. And I did tell her about his being on his way to St. Denis when he died. While I builded up again the corner of the abbey, I did give explanations about how lovely it is to be a gray shadow walking along and touch- ing the faces of people. Shadows do have such velvety fingers. After that we did go on. We went on on to where dwell Alan of Bretagne and Etienne of Blois and Godefroi of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse. To each I led the girl who has no seeing, and she was glad to know them all. They are grand trees. As we went our way, we did listen unto the voices. And I took all the hairpins that was in her hair out of it. I so did so the wind could blow it back and whisper things into her ears. The wind does have so much to tell of far lands and of little folks that dwell near unto us in the fields and in the woods. To-day near eventime I did lead the girl who has no seeing a little way away into the forest, where it was darkness, and shadows were. I led her toward a shadow that was coming our way. It did touch her cheeks with its velvety fingers. And now she too does have likings for shadows. And her fear that was is gone. And after that we turned about to the way that does lead out of the forest. And so we went and I led her again home. We did hurry a bit. We so did because it was most time for her THE STORY OF OPAL 67 folks to be there. Often she does say I must n't be thereabout when her folks are thereabout. I don't be. At the steps of the door that does go into her house she did tell me good-bye. When she so did, she kissed me on each cheek like she always does. Then I did turn my face to the way that leads to the house we live in. Cloud-ships were sailing over the hills. They were in a hurry. The wind was in a hurry. Brown leaves, little ones and big ones, were hurrying along. I thought I had better get a hurry on me. I did. When I was come near unto the barn, I did go in to get Plato and Pliny. I put them in my apron pockets. The barn was rather dark. There were friendly shadows in its corners. When I came out I thought of Peter Paul Rubens. I did have thinks cathedral service would be good for his soul. I went again into the barn to get his little bell that he does always wear around his neck to service, and I did put it on. There was a time when there was no little bell for Peter Paul Rubens to wear to service. That was in the days before one day when I did say to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice, "I do have needs of a little bell for Peter Paul Rubens to wear to church." I got it. And Peter Paul Rubens always knows he is going to the cathedral when I put that little bell around his neck. It does make lovely silver tinkles as he goes walking down the aisle to the altar. 68 THE STORY OF OPAL To-night so we did go, and too with us was Eliz- abeth Barrett Browning. When we were come near unto the hospital, I went aside for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. In the cathedral the wind and the trees sang a vesper song. And I prayed for quite a time long little prayers and long prayers for the goodness of us all. Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times. Now I hear the mamma say, "I wonder where Opal is." She has forgets. I'm still under the bed where she did put me quite a time ago. And all this nice long time light is come to here from the lamp on the kitchen table light enough so I can print prints. I am happy. I think I better crawl out now and go into the bed for sleeps CHAPTER IX Of an Exploring Trip with Brave Horatius; and how Opal Kept Sadness away from her Animal Friends. NEAR eventime to-day I did go out the house when the works were done. I went out the front door and a little way down the path. I made a stop to watch the clouds. They first did come over the hills in a slow way. Then they did sail on and on. They were like ships. I did have wonders what thoughts they were carrying from the hills to some- where. While I did watch, Brave Horatius did come and stand by my side. He looked up at me. In his eyes were askings. I made explainings. I told him, "Le ciel est plein de nuages, qui ont 1'air de navires." While I did talk with him, the mamma did call. I went in. Brave Horatius followed after. She made him go out the other door. I went too. I went to get the potatoes the mamma wanted for supper. I got them out of a sack in the wood- shed. When she did make prepares to peel the potatoes, the mamma reached away back in the cook-table drawer for the paring knife. When she did reach so far back, she did feel the track of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Then she pulled it out real quick. She threw it out the window. When I went to pick it up, it was broken into eleven yo THE STORY OF OPAL pieces. I did gather up all the pieces. They got a little bit wet from tears that trickled down my nose. When I did get the pieces together, I did put them in the back part of the machine drawer. While I so did, I heard a grunt by the bedroom window. I climbed out. There was Peter Paul Rubens, and near unto him was Brave Horatius. To each I gave four pats on the nose. They have likes for pats on the nose. Then I went adown the path. They walked beside me. I saw the cloud- ships sailing on. I made a stop to tell Peter Paul Rubens what I did tell Brave Horatius. I did n't get it all told. When I did say, "Le ciel est plein de nuages," Peter Paul Rubens did grunt a grunt to go on. That was his own dear way of telling me he already did have knowings those clouds looked like ships. I gave him a pat and one to Brave Horatius too. I went on. They walked beside me. I went on a little way. Then I did go aside from the path. I so went to the altar of Saint Louis. Three logs and four stumps and three trees it is distant from the path. And I took there with me all the little plants with green leaves the ones I did dig up yester- day. I brought them to plant them in a crown there on his altar, for this day is the day of his crowning in 1226. While I did plant them, the wind did sing a memory song. And the trees were talking. I have thinks they were saying of the goodness of Saint Louis. Peter Paul Rubens, he did have THE STORY OF OPAL 71 understanding of what they were saying. He did grunt Amen at in-between times. To-day in the morning, when the mamma was in the other room, I did take down from its hook the papa's big coat. I did put it onto me and it did trail away out behind. I like to wear the papa's big coat. Jenny Strong, who comes to visit us, says the reason I like to wear the papa's big coat is because it makes me more grown-up. She's wrong. The reason I like to wear the papa's big coat is because it has pockets in it big ones nice ones to put toads and mice and caterpillars and beetles in. That's why I like to wear the papa's coat. Why, when I go walking in the papa's big coat, nearly the whole nursery can go along. This morning, just as I was making a start out the door to the nursery, the mamma came into the kitchen. She did hurry to the door and I did hurry out. But she caught me by the end of the coat. She did get that coat off of me in a quick way. She hung it back on its nail. When it was hung on its nail in the proper way, she gave to me a shoulder-shake. And I did go to feed the chickens. After I did feed the chickens all, and have some conversations with them, I went in to get the lard- pail that does have my school lunch in it. While I was putting my jacket on, the mamma did tie a new piece of asfiditee around my neck to keep me from having disease. It was a big piece of asfiditee. 72 THE STORY OF OPAL It did n't stay a big piece very long. I divided it with my animal friends. Now each one of us has a bit of asfiditee tied around our necks, so we will not catch sickness. I do so like to share things. I could not find Brave Horatius to give him his share. I did have it already to tie around his dear neck, but he did not answer when I did call. I called in the woods and I called in the field. When he did not come, I went a little way back in the woods to a root. I hid his piece of asfiditee there. To-morrow morning I will tie it around his neck. Near the root was a little wren. I made a stop to watch him. He was in a hurry. I thought he would tip over. I went in a hurry to help him. Before I was come to the root he was gone. And I saw his short tail no more. When I got to school, teacher was standing there in the door. She was looking far-off looks in the way that does lead to the river. I thought maybe she was having dream-thoughts. I was just going to walk past her, when she turned me about for inspection. She felt the outside of my left apron pocket, but I did n't bring my pet toad again to school this morning. I am not going to risk his life again. Next time I am going to bring him to school in a pocket in my underskirt. Most all day in school to-day I did study from the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did make for me. I did screwtineyes the spell of words. When school was let out, I went in the way that THE STORY OF OPAL 73 does lead to a grove where many chene trees do dwell. I so went to get brown leaves. After I did have a goodly number of leaves, I did face about in the way that does lead to the willow creek. When I was come to the log that goes across the creek I went halfway across. I went not all way across because this is the going-away-day of Henry I in 1135, and I did pause to scatter leaves upon the waters. I let them fall one by one. And they were sixty-seven, for his years were sixty- seven. Then I went to bugle in the canyon. I did go by the pig-pen. I went that way to get Peter Paul Rubens. He does so like to go for walks in that canyon of the far woods when I go to bugle there. And I do so like to have him go. I have thinks the trees and the ferns and the singing brook all have gladness when Peter Paul Rubens comes a while to walk in the woods. He does carry so much joy with him everywhere he goes. To-day near eventime we did walk our way back unto near the cathedral. We made a stop there for a short prayer service. First I said Our Father, and then I said two short prayers; one was a thank prayer, and one was a glad prayer. As always, Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times. Then he did go his way to the pig-pen to get his supper. And I went aside to see if there was any sheeps on the hillside. I saw not one. And so I come again to the field. Elizabeth Barrett 74 THE STORY OF OPAL Browning was at the pasture-bars. There was lonesome feels in her mooings. I went and put my arm around her neck. It is such a comfort to have a friend near when lonesome feels do come. CHAPTER X How Brave Horatius is Lost and Found again, but Peter Paul Rubens is Lost Forever. I HAVE wonders where is Brave Horatius. He comes not at my calling. Two days he is now gone. For him I go on searches. I go the three roads that go the three ways from where they have meeting in front of the ranch house. On and on I go. To the Orne and Rille I go. I go adown their ways. I call and call. Into the woods beyond the riviere into the foret de Saint-Germain-en-Laye I go. I listen. The sounds that were in time of summer are not now. Brave Horatius is not there. I call and call. Then I come back again. I go to the house of the girl who has no seeing. I go on. I go across the fields of Auvergne and Picardie. But I have no seeing of my Brave Horatius. I come back again. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice he does keep watch by the mill. But these two days he has had no seeing of Brave Horatius. I have wonders where can he be. Every time I see the chore boy he does sing, "There was a little dog and his name was Rover, and when he died, he died all over and when he died he died all over." The last part he does wail in a most long way. I 76 THE STORY OF OPAL have not listenings to what that chore boys says. I go on. I pray on. I look and I look for Brave Horatius. I go four straight ways and I come back four different ways. When I am come I go back and forth by Jardin des Tuileries and across Pont Royal and adown the singing creek where the willows grow. Lonesome feels are everywhere. I call and I do call. And I do go on and on to where Rhone flows around Camargue. I turn about and I go in the way that does go to the foret de Montmorency. I go to the foret de Montmorency. No tree here is a chataignier. But anyway I do call it foret de Montmorency, and often it is I come here; here I come with Brave Horatius. I went in through and out through, but no answerings did come when I did call. I wonder where he is. In the morning of to-day, when I did go that way, I did meet with the father of Lola. And I did ask if he had seen my Brave Horatius. He did have no seeing of him, and he did ask where all I was going on searches. I did tell him to Orne and Yonne and Rille and to Camargue and Picardie and Auvergne and to the foret de Montmorency. And when I did so tell him, he did laugh. Most all the folks do laugh at the names I do call places here- about. They most all do laugh 'cepting Sadie McKibben. She smiles and smoothes out my curls and says, "Name 'em what ye are a mind to, dearie." Sadie McKibben has an understanding soul. She keeps watch out of her window for see- THE STORY OF OPAL 77 ings of Brave Horatius, and she has promised me she will ask everybody that she does see go by her house if they have had seeings of Brave Horatius. All my friends do feel lonesome feels for Brave Horatius. Lars Porsena of Clusium hardly has knowing what to do. And Peter Paul Rubens did have goings with me three times on searches. And when I did have stops to pray, he did grunt Amen. And he would like to have goings with me on the afternoon of to-day. But the pig-pen fence it was fixed most tight; and I could n't unfix it with the hammer, so he might have goings with me. I did start on. He did grunt grunts to go. I did feel more sad feels. I do so like to have him go with me on explores and searches. To-day I did go on, and then I did come back to give him more good-bye pats on the nose until I was come again. So I did four times. I did tell him when Brave Horatius was found we would soon come to his pen. Then I went on. On I went not far, for the mamma did call me to come tend the baby. And I came again to the house we live in. When sleeps was upon the baby, I lay me down to sleep, for tired feels was upon me. Now I feel not so. I have been making prints. The mamma is gone with the baby to the house of Elsie. I go now again to seek for my Brave Horatius. A little way I went. A long way I went. When I was come part way back again, I climbed upon the old gray fence made of rails. I walked adown it to 78 THE STORY OF OPAL the gate-post and there I sat. I sat there until I saw the shepherd bringing down the sheep from the blue hills. When he was come in sight, I went up the road to meet him and all the sheeps. And when I was come near unto them, I did have seeing there by the shepherd's side did abide my Brave Hora- tius. I was happy. I was full of glad feels. Brave Horatius showed his glad feels in his tail and he did look fond looks at the flock of sheep. I so did, too. And in the flock there was Bede of Jarrow and Alfric of Canterbury and Alberic de Briancon and Felix of Croyland. And there was Cynewulf and Alcuin and Orderic and Gwian and Elidor. And in the midst of the flock there was Guy de Cavaillon and Raoul de Houdenc and Edwin of Diera and Adamnan of lona. I did give to each and every one a word of greeting as I did walk among the flock. And there were others that I had not yet given names to. And last of them all last of all the flock was Dalian Forgaill. And when we were come a little way, the shep- herd did ask me again what were the names I did call his sheep, and I told him all over again. And he did say them after me. But the ways he did say them were not just the ways I say them some of them. And he did ask me where I did have gettings of those names. And I did tell him I did have gettings of those names from my two books that Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in. We went on. Pretty soon I did tell him as how en I* < 03 W aS D H CO <: PH W THE STORY OF OPAL 79 it was while he was gone away to the blue hills I did choose for him another name. I told him how sometimes I did call him by that other name. He did have wantings to know what the other name was. I did tell him this new name I have for him is Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne. He liked it. I told him I did too. We went on. We did have talks. When we were come near unto the lane I did say, "Good-bye, Aidan of lona come from Lindis- farne. I am glad you and the flock are come." He gave my curls a smooth back and he said, "Good- bye, little one." Then Brave Horatius and I went in a hurry in the way that does go to the pig-pen. When we were gone part ways I looked a look back, and in the road there I saw Aidan of lona come from Lindis- farne still watching us. Then we went on. And we were full of gladness when we did reach the pig-pen, for Brave Horatius and Peter Paul Rubens and I we are friends. I did say a long thank prayer for that we were together again. And Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen. I am feeling all queer inside. Yesterday was butchering day. Among the hogs they butchered was Peter Paul Rubens. The mamma let me go off to the woods all day, after my morning's work was done. Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium went with me a part of the time he perched on my shoulder, and then he would ride on the back of 8o THE STORY OF OPAL Brave Horatius. Felix Mendelssohn rode in my apron pocket and Elizabeth Barrett Browning fol- lowed after. We had not gone far when we heard an awful squeal so different from the way pigs squeal when they want their supper. I felt cold all over. Then I did have knowings why the mamma had let me start away to the woods without scolding. And I ran a quick run to save my dear Peter Paul Rubens; but already he was dying and he died with his head in my lap. I sat there feeling dead, too, until my knees were all wet with blood from the throat of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. After I changed my clothes and put the bloody ones in the rain-barrel, I did go to the woods to look for the soul of Peter Paul Rubens. I did n't find it, but I think when comes the spring I will find it among the flowers probably in the blossom of a faon lily or in the top of a fir tree. To-day, when Brave Horatius and I went through the woods, we did feel its presence near. When I was come back from the woods, they made me grind sausage, and every time I did turn the handle I could hear that little pain squeal Peter Paul Rubens always gave when he did want me to come where he was at once. CHAPTER XI How Opal Took the Miller's Brand out of the Flour-Sack, and Got Many Sore Feels thereby; and how Sparks Come on Cold Nights; and how William Shakespeare Has Likings for Poems. THIS day, when I was come home from school, I did have much wood to carry in, for cold days are come. I did make goes to the wood-shed to get the wood. Going to the wood-shed I passed that new flour-sack hanging on the clothes-line. It was flap- ping in the wind. By and by that flour-sack is going to evolute into an underskirt for me to wear under my dress when I go to school. I got my arms full of wood as much as they could hold. Then I came into the house to put the wood into the box behind the stove. The mamma was standing by the window. She looked worry looks at that new flour-sack hanging on the clothes-line there. She said she wished she knew a quicker way to get that miller's brand out of the flour-sack. She put on her fascinator and went a-visiting. She told me to watch the baby that was sleeping on the bed. While I was carrying in more sticks of wood, I tried to think of a quicker way to get that miller's brand out of that flour-sack a-flapping there in the window. When enough wood was in and two more loads 82 THE STORY OF OPAL besides, I did sit on the wood-box. After I did sit still a most long time, thinks did come of a way. I got the scissors out. I got them out of the mamma's work-basket. The time it did take to cut the mil- ler's brand out of the flour-sack, it was only a little time. And when it was fixed, I did fold it in nice folds with the nice crooks sticking out. The scissors did make those crooks in a nice way. Scissors are useful. I do find much use for them. But the mamma likes not the uses I find for the scissors. She does say I am a new sance. I guess a new sance is something some grown-up people don't like to have around at all. I have wonders about things. I have sore feels in my heart and sore feels on the back part of me. I so want to be helps to the mamma. But it's very hard. Why, to-day when I did run to meet her, I did say, "It's out. It's out. I've got it out." And she looked no glad looks. She did only look looks about for a hazel bush. First one she saw, she did take two limbs of it. All the way to the door she made tingles on me with them. I do not think she does have knowing how they feel such queer sore feels. I feel she would not like their feels. When we were come to the door, she did tell me to stay outside. She said I could n't come into her house. But I did have knowing where I could go. I went to talk with Good King Edward I and lovely Eleanor of Castile. I did climb onto the lane fence and into the arms of lovely Queen Eleanor. I do THE STORY OF OPAL 83 so like to be in her arms when things do trouble me. She has understandings. From her arms I did go to hunt for the soul of Peter Paul Rubens. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil rode in my left apron pocket and Nannerl Mozart rode in my right apron pocket. She is a most shy mouse and does keep her nose hid. As we did go along, I did gather gray leaves. Forty-two gray leaves I did so gather. Then we went on. We went on to the near woods. I had not findings to-day for the soul of my dear Peter Paul Rubens, but I did tell the wind that was walking in the woods to tell Peter Paul Rubens I was come a-seeking for his soul. Then I did turn my face to the way that does lead to the cathedral. On the way I met with Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Brave Horatius and Isaiah. Together we did go to the cathedral. We went unto the little tree that I have planted there for rememberings of good John Milton, for this day is the day of his borning in 1608. We did have prayers. It was so lonesome Peter Paul Rubens not being there to grunt Amen at in-between times. Brave Horatius came near unto me when prayers were most done. He did put his nose against my hand for a pat. I gave him two. One was for him and one was for Peter Paul Rubens that was. Then we all did go in the way that does lead to the singing creek where the willows grow. When we were come, all that were with me did stand very close by. They so did stand while I did drop the 84 THE STORY OF OPAL gray leaves upon the water. All the forty-two leaves I did gather I did drop upon the water, for this is the day of the going-away of Antoine Van Dyck in 1641. And his years they were forty- two. When the leaves were all upon the water I did say a little prayer, and we came home. It was most dark-time and the lamp on the kitchen table did shine its light out the window. And it came down the path to meet us. There were pictures on the window-panes when I woke up this morning. By-and-by the fire in the stove made the room warm, and the pictures on the window-panes went away. I was sorry when they went away. I so did like to look looks at them. When I did have my breakfast, the mamma did send me to take a bucket of something with eggs on top it to the ranch-house. The outdoors did have coldness. It did make my fingers to have queer feels. And my nose felt like I did n't have any. Brave Horatius followed after me as I did go along. As I did go along, I did see ice on the mud- puddles. Every now and then I did stop to break the ice on the mud-puddles. I broke the ice to see what was in the water. Under the ice that was over the cow-tracks there was no water only dirt, cold and stiff, with little crystals on it. When I was come to the ranch-house, the grand- ma did come to the door, and she took the bucket THE STORY OF OPAL 85 of something with eggs on top it, that the mamma did send to her. I started on to school. I did go as far as the pump. I made a stop there. I was going to give its handle some lift-ups and some pull- downs, so water would come out. I have likes to see water come out of that pump. But to-day water won't come out of the pump. The pump-handle won't go up and down. The grandpa said it froze in the night. I think it has got the croup. I expect it needs some coal-oil. I have thinks I must tend to that pump to-night. All day here at school I now do study. For little bits of times I do study my school-book. But most of the time I do study the books Angel Father and Angel Mother did write in. I do study these most every day at school. I do study the spell of the words. And after times and before times I do sing the spelling of the words to the gentle Jersey cow while I do ride her to pasture. And I sit in the manger at evening-time and sing the spellings of these words to William Shakespeare when he is come home from work in the woods. I have thinks most of my animal friends do have knowings of the spellings of these words. It so often is I do sing the spellings of these words to them. When I did come home from school to-night, I did make a stop at that pump to see how much coal- oil it did need for its croup. But it had no needs to be tended. The croup that it did have on this morning was all gone. When I did give its handle 86 THE STORY OF OPAL some lift-ups and some push-downs, water did come out. I watched it. It stopped coming out when I did stop giving it lift-ups and push-downs. I went on. I saw the black cat by the barn. On cold nights I have given that cat long rubs on its back, and sparks have come. I did have thinks about sparky things as I did come on home. Now I have know- ings of these. Cats are sparky black ones on a cold night. Stoves are sparky on cold days. Rocks are sparky flint ones when you give them a thump. The chore boy says some people are sparky. He does n't know what he is talking about. When I was come into the house we live in, I gave the baby a gentle thump. It squawked, but there were no sparks. Then the mamma came in the back door. She had not knows why it squawked, but she did tell me to mind it. I so did. The mamma went out again to the house of Elsie. When she was gone, I did sing to the baby a new song I did make up to-day. Most every day I do make up a song. I sing them not when the mamma is in the house, for she does give me most hard spankings when I do start to sing them. To-day I did teeter the baby on the bed as she said. And more I did. I did sing to her the new song. I did sing to her, " Maintenant est hiver, Le ciel est gris, Le champ est tranquille, Les fleurs dorment, Maintenant est hiver." THE STORY OF OPAL 87 Then she did kick many kicks in the air. I did tickle her toes. She likes to have her toes tickled. She has likes for it. This baby has likes for many things. She has likes to sit up on the bed. The mamma has me to prop it up so it won't fall over. And this baby it has likes to make bubbles with its mouth and to stick its foot in its mouth. It does like to rattle all the rattles the grandma and Jenny 'Strong and Elsie bring to it. It does have such likes to be rocked. And most of the times when it is awake, it does want to be singed to and carried about. It is a baby what has satisfaction looks on its face for a little time when it gets what it wants. It only has those satisfaction looks a little time. Soon it does have some more wants, and it wants to have what it wants. The mamma does have me to rock it and rock it and teeter it on the bed and walk the floor with it. Sometimes it does get most heavy. Then I do let my knees bend under and I do sit on the floor and rock it back and forth. The mamma, she does have much likes for it to have what it wants. I am joy all over. I have found in the near woods a plant that has berries like the berries sympkorine has. And its leaves are like the leaves symphorine has. I have had seeings of it before, and every time I do meet with this new old plant, I do say, " I have happy feels to see you, Symphorine." And when the wind comes walking in the near woods, the THE STORY OF OPAL little leaves of symphorine do whisper little whis- pers. I have thinks they are telling me they were come here before I was come here. I make a stop to have more listens. They do whisper, " See, petite Francoise, we were a long time come." I can see they were, too, because their toes have grown quite a ways down in the ground. To-day, as I did walk a walk to where they grow, I did tell them about the day that it is. I told them all about this being the borning day of Jeanne d'Albret, mere de Henri IV, in 1528. I told the year-numbers on my fingers. I had thinks they might have remembers better if I so told them on my fingers. I do have remembers of numbers better when I do tell them on my fingers. Brave Horatius did stand by and listen while I so told them. We went on. I tied bits of bread on the tips of the branches of the trees. Too, I tied on popcorn kernels. They looked like snow-flowers blooming there on fir trees. I looked looks back at them. I have knows the birds will be glad for them. Often I do bring them here for them. When I do have hungry feels I feel the hungry feels the birds must be having. So I do have comes to tie things on the trees for them. Some have likes for different things. Little gray one of the black cap has likes for suet. And other folks has likes for other things. There is a little box in the woods that I do keep things for the pheasants and grouses and squirrels THE STORY OF OPAL 89 and more little birds and wood-mouses and wood- rats. In fall-time days Peter Paul Rubens did come here with me when I did bring seeds and nuts to this box for days of hiver. When we were come to the box, I did have more thinks of him. I think the soul of Peter Paul Rubens is not afar. I think it is in the forest. I go looking for it. I climb up in the trees. I call and call. And then when I find it not, I do print a message on a leaf, and I tie it onto the highest limb I can reach. And I leave it there with a little prayer for Peter Paul Rubens. I do miss him so. To-day, after I so did leave a message on a leaf away up in a tree for him, I did have going in along the lane and out across the field and down the road beyond the meeting of the roads. There was gray- ness everywhere gray clouds in the sky and gray shadows above and in the canyon. And all the voices that did speak they were gray tones. " Petite Francoise, c'est jour gris." And all the little lichens I did see along the way did seem a very part of all the grayness. And Felix Mendelssohn in my apron pocket he was a part of the grayness, too. And as I did go adown the road, I did meet with a gray horse and his grayness was like the grayness of William Shakespeare. Then I did turn about. I did turn my face to the near woods where is William Shakespeare. When Rob Ryder is n't looking, I give to William Shakespeare pieces of apple and I pull grass for him. 90 THE STORY OF OPAL He so likes a nice bit to eat after he does pull a long pull on the logs. And while I do feed him bits of apple and bits of grass, I do tell him poems. Wil- liam Shakespeare has likes for poems. And some- times I do walk along by him when he is pulling in logs and I do tell the poems to him while he pulls. And I give his head rubs when he is tired, and his back too. And on some Sundays when he is in the pasture I go there to talk with him. He comes to meet me. William Shakespeare and I we are friends. His soul is very beautiful. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice says he is a dear old horse. CHAPTER XII Of Elsie's Brand-New Baby, and all the Things that Go with it; and the Goodly Wisdom of the Angels who Bring Folks Babies that Are like them. ELSIE has a brand-new baby and all the things that go with it. There's a pink fleur on its baby brush and a pink bow on its cradle-quilt. The angels brought the baby just last night in the night. I have been to see it a goodly number of times most everything I did start to do, I went aside before I did get through doing it to take peeps at the darling baby. I so did when I was sent to feed the chickens, and when I went to carry in the wood, and when I went to visit Aphrodite, and when I went to take eggs to the folks that live yonder, and when I went to get some soap at the ranch-house, and when I went to take a sugar-lump to William Shakespeare, and when I went to take food to the folks in the hospital, and when I went to the ranch- house to get the milk. And in the between times I did go in the way that does lead to the house of Elsie. The baby it is a beautiful baby though it does have much redness of face from coming such a long way in the cold last night. Maybe it was the coldness of the night that did cause the angels to make the mistake. They stopped at the wrong 92 THE STORY OF OPAL house. I 'm quite sure this is the very baby I have been praying for the angels to bring to the new young folks that do live by the mill by the far woods. Dear Love, her young husband does call her. And they are so happy. But they have been married seven whole months and have n't got a baby yet. Twice every day for a time long I have been praying prayers for the angels to bring them one real soon. And most all day to-day I did feel I better tell Elsie as how this baby is n't her baby, before she does get too fond of it. She so likes to cuddle it now. Both morning and afternoon I did put off going to tell her about it. I did wait most until eventime. Then I could n't keep still any longer. I felt I would just have to speak to her about it at once. I did have knowings that Mrs. Limberger, that was staying with Elsie until the other woman was come back, would n't let me come in the door to see the baby again because she has opinions that nineteen times is fully enough to be a-coming to see a baby on the first day of its life on earth. So I went and got a wood-box off the back porch, and I did go around to the bedroom window. I did get on top the wood-box and I made tappings on the window-pane. Elsie did have hearings. She did turn her head on the pillow. And she gave nods for me to come in. I pushed the window a push enough so I could squeeze in. Then I sidled over to the bed, Elsie did look so happy with the baby. I did THE STORY OF OPAL 93 swallow a lump in my throat. She looked kind smiles at me. I did not like to bring disturbs to her calm. I just stood there making pleats in my blue calico apron. I did have thinks of Dear Love and the house without a baby by the mill by the far woods. Then I felt I could n't wait any longer. I just said, "I know you are going to have a disap- point, Elsie, but I have got to tell you this baby is n't yours. It's a mistake. It really belongs to Dear Love in that most new, most little house by the mill by the far woods. It's the one I've been praying the Angels to bring to her." Just when I was all out of breath from telling her, there did come the heavy step of Mrs. Lim- berger's approaches. Elsie did say in a gentle way, " Come to me early in the morning and we will talk the matter over." Then I did go out the window. From the house of Elsie I did go to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He does so understand. All troubles that do trouble me, I do talk them over with him. While I was telling him all about how the angels did make a mistake and did bring Dear Love's baby to the house of Elsie, I did hear a little voice. It was a baby voice. It did come from the barn. I went in to see. It was n't in the haystack. It seemed to come from a way below. I slid down to the manger of the gentle Jersey cow. I thought she was in the pasture, but there she was in the barn. And with her was a dear new baby calf. When I did ask the ranch folks 94 THE STORY OF OPAL when it was brought, they did say it was brought in the night last night. I have thinks the same angel that did bring the new baby to the house of Elsie did bring also in her other arm that baby calf to the gentle Jersey cow. To-night I will pick it out a name from the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in. Early in the morning I will go again to the house of Elsie. Early on the morning of to-day I did go in the way that does lead to the house of Elsie. I did rap gentle raps on the door, and the young husband of Elsie did come to raise the latch. When the door did come open, I did have seeing that his black pumpadoor did seem to shine more than most times, and all the vaseline was gone from the jar that sets on the kitchen shelf. I did tell him how Elsie did say for me to come early in this morning. And before he did have time for answers, Elsie did have hearing in the other room. She did call. She did call me to come in. In I went. The baby it was beside her. It was all wrapped in a blanket so it could n't even have seeings out the window how the raindrops was coming down so fast. The young husband of Elsie did look fond looks at that blanket. I did begin to have fears he did have thinks it was his baby. Elsie did unwrap the blanket from its red face. It's just as red as it was yesterday, though the rain coming makes the weather more warm. Elsie THE STORY OF OPAL 95 did say, "See its long hair." And I did have seeing. It was n't long though, not more than an inch. It was most black. And its eyes they were dark. It did have prefers to keep them shut. When I did see them, Elsie did say, "Now about what we were talking about yesterday next time you go to the house of Dear Love, have seeing of the color of her eyes and hair and also of her husband's. I hardly think this baby's hair and eyes are like theirs. And maybe it is where it does belong." "I feel sure about that," said her young husband. But I had not feels so. Just then the mamma did holler for me to come home to bring wood in. I so come. Now she does have me mind the baby. I do print. When sleeps was come upon the mamma's baby, I straightway did go in a hurry to the house of Dear Love by the mill by the far woods. All the way along the raindrops were coming in a hurry down. Many of them did say, "Petite Franoise too. I wonder, I wonder." When I was come to the house of Dear Love, she was there and he was there. Her eyes were light blue, and her hair, it was very light. Most cream hair she has got. And her husband that does call her Dear Love his eyes they are blue, and he has red hair. I saw. And I was going right back because I did feel sad feels, Dear Love, she did lead me back into her house and did have me to sit on a chair. I sat on its corner. And I felt lumps come up in my throat. She did 96 THE STORY OF OPAL take off my fascinator, and she did take off my shoes so my feet would get dry. Then she did take me on her lap and she did ask me what was the matter. And I just did tell her all about it all about how I had been praying for the angels to bring a baby real soon to them and how sad feels I did feel because they did n't have a baby yet. Her husband did smile a quiet smile at her, and roses did come on her cheeks. And I did have thinks that they did have thinks that this baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie was their baby. Then I did give them careful explana- tions as how I too did have thinks it was their baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie, that I did pray for them to have real soon. And as how I did have thinks so yesterday and last night and right up until now, when I did come to their house and have seeings of their blue eyes and his having red hair. I did tell them as how this baby could n't be theirs, because it has most dark hair and dark eyes like the eyes and the hair of the young husband of Elsie. Angels do have a big amount of goodly wisdom. They do bring to folks babies that are like them. To mother sheeps they do bring lambs. To mother horse they do bring a poulain. To mother bats they bring twin bats. To a mother mouse they do bring a baby mulot and some more like it all at the same time. To mere daine they do bring a baby faon. To the gentle Jersey cow they did bring a THE STORY OF OPAL 97 baby calf, with creamness and brownness upon it like the creamness and brownness that is upon the gentle Jersey cow. Angels do have a goodly amount of wisdom. They do bring to folks babies that do match them. And after I did tell them that, I did have telling them as how, being as this baby did n't have eyes and hair to match theirs, it could n't be their baby. But I did tell them not to have disappoints too bad, because I am going to pray on and maybe she will get a baby next week. When I did say that, her young husband did walk over to the window and look long looks out. I have thinks he was having wonders if two or three angels would be coming with the angel that will be bringing their baby, and if the cradle-quilt they bring with it will have a blue bow or a pink bow on it and if its baby brush will have blue fleurs or pink fleurs on it. I have wonders. I think blue fleurs on its baby brush and a blue bow on its cradle-quilt will look nicer with red hair than pink fleurs and a pink bow. I have thinks I better put that in my prayers. By-and-by, when my feets were dry, they did put my shoes on and they laced them up. They did n't miss a string-hole like I do sometimes when I am in a hurry to get them tied up. Then, when they did have them tied up, they did want me to stay to dinner; but I did have feels I must hurry back to the house of Elsie and tell her that the baby 98 THE STORY OF OPAL was hers. She might be having anxious feels about it. When I did say good-bye they did give me two apples one for William Shakespeare and one for Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And they did give me some cheese for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and corn for Lars Porsena of Clusium. And they came a long way with me. Then I did go on in hurry steps to the house of Elsie. As quick as her young husband did open the door, I did walk right in, for I did have thinks maybe she did have some very anxious feels while I was gone. She smiled glad smiles when I told her it was hers. It must have been an immense amount of relief her now knowing it really was her own baby. And when I did turn around to tell her young husband it was theirs, her young husband, he just said, "I knew it was mine." And he looked more fond looks at the blanket it was wrapped in. I have feels now it is nice for them to have it; and it is good that they will not have needs to give it up being as it matches them. Angels do have a goodly amount of wisdom. This is a wonderful world to live in. When I did say good-bye to Elsie and the charm- ante baby, I did go to the barn where is the gentle Jersey cow and the baby calf that does match her. That baby calf I have named Mathilde Plantage- net. I have named her so for Mathilde that was daughter of Roi Henri I and Mathilde that was daughter of Sainte Marguerite that was reine THE STORY OF OPAL 99 d'Ecosse. Mathilde Plantagenet is her name be- cause the name of the man Mathilde did marry, it was Geoffroi Plantagenet. And too in days of summer the genet fleur grows near unto here. I have had seeings of them by waters that flow by the mill town. And when their bloom time is come, I will make for Mathilde Plantagenet a guirlande of les fleurs de genet. And we will go walking down the lane. CHAPTER XIII How Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil Go for a Ride; William Shakespeare Suffers One Whipping and Opal Another. ON the way home from school to-night I did meet with Sadie McKibben, and it was very nice to see her freckles. And she wore her blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it. First when we were met she did kiss me on each cheek. Then she was going to shake hands with me, but I could not shake hands with her with my right hand because Louis II, le Grande Conde, was asleep in my sleeve. I had fears shaking hands with my right hand would disturb his calm. So I gave explanations. And Sadie McKibben did have understanding. She gave me a kiss on my nose and smoothed back my curls and shook hands with my left hand. When she so did, Felix Mendelssohn did poke his nose out the cuff. He made a quick run up my arm and settled down on my shoulder. He is a very quick-moving mouse. Sadie McKibben did see the movement his moving did make on my sleeve. She asked me if that was all my friends I did take to school to-day. Then I lifted up my apron and I did show her Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil. He was riding in a pocket in my underskirt. She did have wantings to know why it was that I was not carry- THE STORY OF OPAL 101 ing him in my apron pocket as I use to do. I told her I did not so now, for teacher does feel of my apron pockets when I do come into school in the morning; so I carry my friends in my sleeves and in pockets in my underskirt. Sadie McKibben did have understanding. And she did say she thought she would have to be getting me a little basket to carry them in. She said she was going to speak to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice about the matter. I have thinks to be carried in a warm basket will please the souls of Louis II, le Grand Conde, and Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and all the little folk that do go walking with me. It will be almost as nice as to ride in the pockets of the papa's big coat. I have thinks I will have needs to put pockets in that basket and divides so there in it will be little rooms, little rooms for all the folks of the nursery. I will let them have their turns riding to school in the basket. And there is enough room in my seat so that basket can set right beside me. I can hardly wait waits until I do have that basket. When Sadie McKibben did kiss me good-bye, she gave me a sugar-lump for William Shakespeare and a piece of cheese for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and a bone for Brave Horatius and ten corn- seeds for Lars Porsena of Clusium. She does have knowings of the likings of my friends. Then she went her way, and I did come my way home to the house we live in. 102 THE STORY OF OPAL When I was come, first I did feed the chickens. And then I did go to carry in the wood. It was while I was carrying in wood that Rob Ryder came to borrow a hammer. I have n't been near unto where he has been since I did bite his hand the other day. And to-day the mamma tried to make me say to that Rob Ryder how sorry I was because I bit him on the hand. But I was n't a bit sorry. And I would n't say I was sorry. And if I got a chance I'd bite him again for his laying that big whip to the back of William Shakespeare when he does n't pull logs fast enough. I know my William Shakespeare and I know how hard he pulls to pull those logs. To pull those logs he does his very best. And when he was gone away the mamma did spank me most hard with the hair-brush. Then she put me out the door. And I did go from the house we do live in to where do dwell King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault. They are grand trees. We are friends. Often it is I go to where they dwell when the mamma does put me out of the house. To-day I did stay long with them and I did talk long with them. Mostly it was about the lovely England when they were there, we did have talks about to-day. And the wind was talking too. I think the wind does have knowing of this being their wedding day in 1328. As he did come near unto where they dwell, he did walk among the willows by the singing creek. And I did climb down from the arms of Queen Philippa of Hainault and THE STORY OF OPAL 103 go to gather water-cress for the mamma. She does have such a fondness for it. Then I did say good-bye, and I did say good-bye to all those twelve trees growing near unto them. And all those twelve trees that do grow near unto King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault those twelve trees are their twelve children. The tree most near unto Edward III, that is Edward Prince of Wales; and the one next unto him is Lionel Duke of Clarence; and the one most near unto him, that is John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The time was when there were only ten trees growing there, and I did have needs to plant two more. Two little ones I did plant, and one is for baby Blanche and one is for baby William, the other one. CHAPTER XIV How Opal Feels Satisfaction Feels, and Takes a Ride on William Shakespeare; and all that Came of it. AFTER I did dish-towel all the dishes that we did use in the breakfast meal, the mamma did send me to get barks for the warming stove. While I was getting barks I did stop to screwtineyes the plump wiggles that were in and under all the barks. Those plump wiggles will grow and change. They will grow and change into beetles. I have seen them do so. I have taken them from the bark and they did so grow into beetles after some long time. In the nursery I kept them while they did so change. After the barks was in I did go my way to school. I went aside to Saint Firmin by Nonette. I made a stop where the willows grow. I love to touch fingers with the willows. Then I do feel the feels the willows feel. I did tell them all and every one about this being the going-away day of Charle- magne in 814 and the borning day of Henry VII in 1457. Each pussy-willow baby did wear a gray silk tricot. He did look warm. He smiled, "Bonjo'ur, petite Francoise," in a friendly way. I think he does remember the days in summer when I did drink in inspirations dabbling my toes by his toes there in the singing brook. When I did have talks with them for a little THE STORY OF OPAL 105 time, I did go on. And all along I stopped very often on the way to talk to the other pussy-willows. I was quite late to school. Teacher made me stand in the corner to get my lesson with my face to the wall. I did n't mind that at all. There was a win- dow in that part of the wall. It was near the corner. I looked looks at my book sometimes. Most of the times I looked looks out the window. I had seeing of little plant folks just peeping out of the earth to see what they could see. I did have thinks it would be nice to be one of them, and then grow up and have a flower and bees a-coming and seed-children at fall-time. I have thinks this is a very interest world to live in. There is so much to see out the window when teacher does have one to stand in the corner to study one's lesson. When teacher did send me to my seat to get my slate for arithmetic, I did put Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil in my desk by my Cyr's Reader. I keep my books in one little corner of my desk, and that does leave a lot of room for my animal friends. There was room enough for Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil to take little nice hops. But while I was having recites with arithmetic, he hopped a little hop too far and he fell out of my desk. I had quivers, and it was hard to pay attentions to arithmetic. When our lessons were done I made a quick go to my seat. I looked a look under for him. He was not there. I looked more looks about. He was rows away over by the seat-row where Lola has her sitting. I did 106 THE STORY OF OPAL almost sit sideways in my seat, I had such anxious feels about him. Lola had seeing. She made a reach over. She picked him up in a gentle way. She put him in her apron pocket. She made a begin to study her geography. She asked teacher if she might get a drink from the dipper in the wrap-room. She went. She made a come-back from the wrap-room down our rw, going to her geography class. When she went by my desk, she put her hand in my pocket. She went on to the recite bench. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil was back again in my apron pocket. I felt an immense amount of satisfaction feels. Some days there is cream to be shaked into but- ter. The mamma does have me to make a handle go up and down a lot of times in the churn. This makes the butter come. When there is only a little cream to be shaked into butter, then the mamma has me to shake it to and fro in a glass jar. Some- times it gets awfully heavy and my arms do get ache feels up and down. There are most ache feels when the butter is a long time in coming. It so was to-day. I gave it many shakes, and I was having hopes it soon would be come. After some long time, when it was most come, the lid came off and it all shaked out. Then the mamma did have cross feels and the spanks she gave made me to have sore feels on the back part of me. I was making tries to be helps to her. That butter was almost come. THE STORY OF OPAL 107 After I did give the floor washes and mops up where the splashes of buttermilk did jump, then the mamma put me out the door and told me to get out and stay out of her way. I so did. I went out across the field and in along the lane. Lars Porsena of Clusium had going with me. I looked looks away to the meeting of the roads. There was a horse come near unto it. A man was riding on this horse. I like to ride upon a horse. I like to stand up when I ride upon a horse. It is so much joy. I feel the feels the horse does feel when he puts each foot to the ground. When I did see that horse go on and on, then I did have feels it would be nice to go a long way on explores. I did have thinks William Shakespeare had wants to go. He was in the lane. I gave him pats on the nose and I talked with him about it. We did start on. When we were come to the end of the lane there was the gate. It did take some long time to get it open. The plug did stick so tight and more yet. I did pull and I made more pulls. It came out. It did come out in a quick way. I did have a quick set-down. I got up in a slow way. I did show William Shakespeare the way to go out the gate. He went, I went. We went adown the road. A little way we went and we were come to a stump. I made a climb upon it. From the stump I did climb upon the back of William Shakespeare. We went on. When we were come to the meeting of the roads, we went the way of the road that goes io8 THE STORY OF OPAL to the upper camps. We made no stops until we were come to where a long time ago the road had a longing to go across the riviere, and some men that had understanding made it a bridge to go across on. When we were come to the bridge, we made a stop and I did sing to the riviere a song. I sang it Le chant de Seine, de Havre, et Essonne et Nonette et Roullon et Iton et Darnetal et Ourcq et Rille et Loing et Eure et Audelle et Nonette et Sarc. I sang it as Angel Father did teach me to, and as he has wrote it in the book. And after I did sing it all, we did watch the water splash itself against the legs of the bridge. The water goes not now slow as it did in summer days. We went on. And the boards of the bridge did make squeaks as we went across. And they said in their squeaks, "Petite Francoise, we have been waiting a long time for you to go across the riviere." And I did have William Shakespeare to make a little stop so I could tell the boards I have been waiting waits a long time to go across. While I so was doing, they did not squeak. When we made a start to go on, they did squeak. After we were across the riviere we went in a more slow way. There was so many things to see. Trees and trees were all along the way. There were more ranch-houses. I did have seeing of them set always back from the road, and smoke did come in curls from out their chimneys. At a bend in the road there was a big chene tree it was a very big o CO y o S < W w w w a h CO CO O u 0< w w W h THE STORY OF OPAL 109 one. On its arms there was bunches of mistletoe. I made a stop to have looks at them. I had thinks I might reach up to them. I stood on tiptoe on the back of William Shakespeare. I could reach a reach to one limb. I put my arms around it and had a swing. It was very nice to swing one forward and two back again. But when I was ready to stand on William Shakespeare again, he was not there. I looked a look down and about. He was gone on a little way. I had wonders what to do. There was most too many rocks to drop down on. Lars Porsena came and perched on the limb above. I did call William Shakespeare four times, and in between I called him by the bird-call that does mean I have needs of him. He did come and he made a stop under the limb. I was most glad. My arms did have a queer feel from hanging there. I was real glad just to sit quiet on the back of William Shakespeare while he did walk on. And Lars Porsena of Clusium did sit behind me. We went on. We had seeing of the section men working on the railroad track where the dinky engine goes with the cars of lumbers to the mill town. They were making stoop-overs. I had seeing they did screwtineyes the rails and the ties they stay upon. The men did wave their hands to us, and I did wave back, and on the fence there was a bird with a yellow and a little black moon across his front. His back it was like the grasses of the no THE STORY OF OPAL field grown old. And his song is the song of all the voices of the field. We have seeing of him and his brothers all days of the year. After we had going past the next turn in the road I did look a look back. A little bush with some tallness was yet a-nodding. It was asking a ques- tion. I gave William Shakespeare two pats on the shoulder. That means turn about. He did. When we were come to the bush a-nodding, I leaned over to the tallness of it. I put my ear close so I could have hearing. It had wants to know what day this was. I did tell it this day was the going-away day of John of Gaunt and the borning day of Felix Mendelssohn in 1809. It had hearings, but it did not stop nodding. But it was asking no questions. It was nodding nods of the day this is. I felt the satisfaction feels it did feel when it did know the answer to its question. I do too have likes to ask questions about things so to have knows. We went on in a slow way. I did look looks about. And there were birds robins and two bluebirds and more larks of the meadow and other crows like unto Lars Porsena of Clusium. When we was come to another bend in the road, William Shake- speare made a stop. I made a slide off. I went to pick him some grass. A wagon went by. Two horses were in front of it, and on its high seat was a man with his hat on sideways and a woman with a big fascinator most hiding her face. There was seven children in the wagon two with sleeps upon THE STORY OF OPAL in them and a little girl with a tam-o'-shanter and a frown and a cape on her. I have thinks from the looks on their faces they all did have wants to get soon to where they were going to. I brought the grass back to the road to William Shakespeare. I smiled a smile and waved to the last little girl of all on the wagon. She smiled and waved her hand. Then three more of them waved. I waved some more. The wagon had its going on, and William Shakespeare had begins to nibble at the grass I was holding in my fingers. While he did nibble nibbles I did tell him poems. William Shakespeare does have such a fondness for poetry and nibbles of grass and apples and sugar-lumps. While we did have waiting at the bend of the road, I saw a maple tree with begins of buds upon it. I did walk up to the tree. I put my ear to it to have listens to the sap going up. It is a sound I like to hear. There is so much of springtime in it. While I did listen, in the other ear that was not to the maple tree I did have hearings of the talkings of the wind and petite plants just having begins to grow out of the earth. The wind did say, " Je viens je viens." The plants did answer make, "Nous entendons nous entendons." So they did speak. Then the wind did say, "Le printemps viendra bientot." And the plants did answer make, "Nous fleurirons bientot." I did have glad feels. William Shakespeare moved a little move. I had some doubts if he did ii2 THE STORY OF OPAL hear all plainly they did say, so I went up to his nose and said it all over to him. He had under- standing. We went on. When we were come again to a stump, I did climb again upon his back. We went by a big mill with piles of lumber to its near side, and a long wide roof it had. There was a row of lumber-shanties and some more. There was children about and dogs. They did smile and wave and I did too. We went on. More fir trees of great tallness was on either side the road. They did stretch out their great arms to welcome to us. I so do love trees. I have thinks I was once a tree growing in the forest; now all trees are my brothers. When we were gone a little way on from the very tall trees, in the sky the light of day was going from blue to silver. And thoughts had coming down the road to meet us. They were thoughts from out the mountains where are the mines. They were thoughts from the canyons that come down to meet the road by the riviere. I did feel their com- ing close about us. Very near they were and all about. We went on a little way only. We went very slow. We had listens to the thoughts. They were thoughts of blooming-time and coming-time. They were the soul thoughts of little things that soon will have their borning-time. When we did go on we did hear little sounds coming from a long way down the road. They were like the shoe on the foot of a horse making touches on the road in a hurry way. The sound, it came THE STORY OF OPAL 113 more near. We made a stop to have a listen. It was coming more near gray-light-time and we could not have plain sees until the horse was come more near a way down the road. Then we had sees a man was riding on the horse. They came on in the quick way that made the little fast patter sounds on the ground. When he was most come to where we were, the man did have the horse to go in a more slow way. When he was come to where we were he did have the horse to stop. The man upon the horse was the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He did seem most glad that we were on the road he was on. He did breathe some satisfac- tion breathes just like Sadie McKibben does when she finds I have n't broken my bones when I fall out of a tree. Then he made begins. He said, "The fairies" And I said, "What?" He said, "The fairies have left a note on a leaf in the moss-box by the old log. It was a note for me to go until I find you and William Shakespeare to bring you home again before starlight-time." There was a little fern-plant with the note on the leaf. He gave them to me. And we came our way home. Now I have thinks it was God in his good- ness did send the fairies to leave that fern-note on the leaf. And William Shakespeare and I were glad he was come to meet us, for the stars were not and dark was before we were come home. But the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice, he did have knows of the way of the road by night. CHAPTER XV Of Jenny Strong's Visit, its Gladness and its Sadness. JENNY STRONG is come to visit us. She came in the morning of to-day. She came on the logging train. She brought her bags with her. The mamma did send me to meet her at the meeting of the roads. The bags, they were heavy to carry, and my arms got some tired. As we did go along, in-between times I did look looks at Jenny Strong. There is so much of interest about her. The gray curls about her face did have the proper look she wants them to have. To get that proper look she does them up on curl-papers. I have seen her so do when she was come to visit us before. And this morning her plump cheeks were roses. And all her plumpness did most fill the gray dresses she was wearing. Jenny Strong has little ruffles around the neck of that dress, like the little ruffles that was around the neck of the man with the glove when Titian made his picture. Those ruffles on the neck of the gray dress of Jenny Strong did look like it was their joy to cuddle up against the back of her black bonnet. That black bonnet has a pink rosebud on it, and every time that Jenny Strong does give her head a nod, that pink rosebud does give itself a nod. It must be interest to be a pink rosebud on a black THE STORY OF OPAL 115 bonnet that Jenny Strong wears. When we were come to the gate Jenny Strong did hold her cape and her gray dress up in a careful way. She had blue stockings on, and they was fastened up with pink ribbons. She went on while I did shut the gate. I did come after. I could not come after in a quick way because the bags was heavy. Pretty soon Jenny Strong did have seeing I was not there beside her, and she did wait waits for me a little while, and I did come to where she was. We went on. The way was dampness near the singing creek and Jenny Strong did take dainty steps as we did go along. Lars Porsena of Clusium did come to meet us. And so came Brave Horatius. And Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back. We went on. The pink rosebud on the black bonnet of Jenny Strong did nod itself twelve times as we did go along. When we were come near unto the house, there was a rooster by our front door. He was strutting along. He was that same rooster that I tied a slice of bacon around his neck this morning because he had queer actions in the throat. When Jenny Strong saw him strutting along with the bacon wrapped around his throat, she did turn her head to the side with a delicate cough. After Jenny Strong took off her cape and her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it, I did pull the best rocking-chair out in the middle of the room for her. She sat down in it and she did start n6 THE STORY OF OPAL to have talks with the mamma. I did go to teeter the baby on the bed as the mamma did say for me to do. Jenny Strong did rock big rocks in that rock- ing-chair while she did talk. One time she did almost rock over. She breathed a big breath. Then, that she might not rock over again, I did put a stick of wood under the rocker. That helped some. But, too, it did keep her from rocking. She went on talking. I went back to the bed to teeter the baby. While I did teeter the baby I did look looks out the window. In a bush that I do tie pieces of suet to, there was a little gray bird with a black cap and his throat it was black. He was a fluffy ball and he almost did turn himself upside-down on that branch. Then he went a go-away. Only a little way he went. Then he was with more like himself. They went on together. By and by the mamma's baby did go to sleep, and I climbed off the bed and made a start to go to the nursery. Jenny Strong did ask me where I was going. I did tell her. She said she thought she would like to go with me. We did go out the door. Then I ran a quick run back to get her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it. I brought it to her. She said, being as I did bring it to her, she would wear it, but she had not in tent chuns to when we started. She had forgot it. But I did n't have for- gets. I do so like to see that pink rosebud nod itself. We went on. We went a little way down the path. Then I did go aside. Jenny Strong did follow THE STORY OF OPAL 117 after me. She came over the little logs in a slow way. I did make stops to help her. The pink rose- bud on the black bonnet did nod itself fifteen times on the way. I did count its times. When we were come to the nursery, first I did show her the many baby seeds I did gather by the wayside in the fall- time. I did tell her how I was going to plant them when come springtime. She did nod her head. Every time she so did, the pink rosebud on the black bonnet did nod itself. After I told her most all about the seeds, I did show her the silk bags with spider eggs in them. Then I did show her all the cradles the velvety caterpillars did make at falltime. I did give her explainings how butterflies and moths would be a-coming out of the cradles when springtime was come. She looked concentration looks at them. She gave her head some more nods and the pink rosebud on the black bonnet gave itself some more nods. I moved on to where the wood-mouse folks are. I was just going to show her what a nice nose and little hands Nannerl Mozart has, and what a velvety mouse Felix Mendelssohn is. When I did turn about to so do, there was Jenny Strong going in funny little hops over the logs. She was going in a hurry way to the house. I did have a wonder why was it she so went. I gave Felix Mendelssohn more pats and I put him in my apron pocket. And Nannerl Mozart did curl up in the bed I have fixed for her in the nursery. ii8 THE STORY OF OPAL Then I did sing a lullaby song to all the wood- mice in the nursery. And they are a goodly number. I did sing to them the song La Nonette sings as it goes on its way to Oise. Then I did go through the near woods to the mill by the far woods. I so did go to see the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. When he had seeing that I was come by the big tree, he did say in his gentle way, "What is it, little one? Is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus not well?" "Oh, yes," I said, "he is most well and he did have likes for that piece of cheese you did give to him on yesterday. He is a most lovely wood-rat, and what I have come to tell you about is, we got company. She has a fondness for pinkness. Her name is Jenny Strong. And she has a pink rosebud on her black bonnet and ties her blue stockings up with pink ribbons." And then I did ask him if he did not have thinks a pink ribbon would be nice for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to wear on some days on days when he goes to cathedral service with me. And, too, I did tell him how I did have thinks a pink ribbon would be nice for William Shakespeare and Felix Mendelssohn and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Brave Horatius. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did have thinks like my thinks. He did say for me to go write the fairies about it. And I did. I did write it on a gray leaf. I put the gray leaf in THE STORY OF OPAL 119 a moss-box at the end of an old log near unto the altar of Saint Louis. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice knows about that moss-box where I do put letters for the fairies. He believes in fairies, too. And we talk about them. He does ask me what I write to them about and what things I have needs for them to bring. I do tell him, and when the fairies do leave the things at the end of the old log, I do take and show them to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He is so glad. He does believe in fairies, too. As I did come back through the near woods, I did stop by some grand fir trees to pray. When one does look looks up at the grand trees growing up almost to the sky, one does always have long- ings to pray. When I did come on, I did hear the mamma calling. When I was come to the door, she made me go stand in the corner of the wood-shed. Soon she came out. She did shut the door tight behind her. Then she did ask me what for was it I gave Jenny Strong such a scare, and she did spank me most hard. Now I have sore feels and I have thinks it would be nice to have a cushion to sit on. And I do have wonders what it was Jenny Strong got scares about. I think grown-ups are queer sometimes. When I did go into the house, all the scares was gone off Jenny Strong. The mamma soon did make me to go under the bed. Here I print. Jenny Strong sits by the fire. She does sit in a rocking- 120 THE STORY OF OPAL chair with her feet propped up on a soap-box. She hums as she sits. She crochets as she hums. She does make lace in a quick way. Now Jenny Strong and the mamma is gone to the house of Elsie to see the new baby. When she did go, the mamma did tell me to put the baby to sleep. I so did. I did sing it to sleep in the rocking- chair. I did sing it the Riviere and Fleuve song: " A is for Adour, Avre, Ain, Aube, Arroux, and Allier." When I did get to "D is for Douze and Dordogne and Durance," the baby did move its arm. When I did get to "G is for Garonne and Gers and Gard," the baby did open its eyes. When I did get to "I is for Indre, and Isere and Iraouaddy," it did close its eyes. I did sing on. And sleeps did come upon the baby. We had lots on the table to eat to-night, because Jenny Strong is come. And most everything I did get to eat I did make divides of it for my animal friends. They will all have a good share. And they will be glad. There is enough for all to have a good amount to eat, which often is n't. I did feel a goodly amount of satisfaction sitting there at the supper-table to-night for a little time. I was thinking how glad the mice will be for the corn I have saved for them; and too Brave Horatius will have good feels in his mouth when he sees that big bone. And the birds will like all the scraps that are on the plate of Jenny Strong if I can get them before the mamma gives them to that big gray cat. THE STORY OF OPAL 121 I have seeings that the folks, they are almost through eating. I now am not at the table. I was only there for a very little while. I now am under the bed. The mamma did send me away from the table it seems a long time ago. She did send me away from the table because when Jenny Strong asked me if I liked her dress, I said, "Yes, and the ruffles around your neck are like the ruffles around the neck of the man with the glove, when Titian made his picture." Jenny Strong looked a queer look and she said to the mamma, "What a naughty child!" The mamma did straightway tell me to crawl under the bed and to stay there. I so am. I have feels Jenny Strong has not had seeing of the picture of the man with the glove that Titian did make. I thought it was nice to tell her her ruffles were like his. They did look so nice. I have wonders about folks. They are hard to understand. I think I will just say a little prayer. My, I do have such hungry feels now. They at the table are not through yet. I make swallows down my throat. It is most hard not to eat what I have saved for my animal friends. But they will like it so I can wait waits until breakfast-time. I can. In-between times I will have thinks and prayers. CHAPTER XVI Of the Woods on a Lonesome Day, and the Friendliness of the Wood-Folks on December Days when you Put your Ears Close and Listen. THIS day it was a lonely day. I did have longings all its hours for Angel Mother and Angel Father. In-between times all day at school I did print messages for them on gray leaves I did gather on the way to school. I did tell on the leaves the longings I was having. Too, on the leaves I did tell of William Shakespeare and our talks as we do go walking down the lane, and the poetry I do tell him in the manger. And I did print on more leaves how I do read out of the books they did make how I do sit in the manger and read what is in them, and he does have understandings. And on other leaves I did tell them as how the nose of Thomas Chatter- ton Jupiter Zeus that was soreness has now well feels with prayers and mentholatum that Sadie McKibben did give, and as how the head-ache of the most big rooster has now well feels with camphoratum and vaselineatum; and as how the stomach-ache of Aphrodite did get well feels with caster oilatum that Sadie McKibben did give. And after, I did tell of how on many days in gray-light- time I have had going on searches for the kisses of Angel Father, what he did tell me to keep watches THE STORY OF OPAL 123 for in the fleurs while he was away gone to the far lands. And on more leaves I did tell them as how Peter Paul Rubens that was is not now, and how I do carry about with me the little bell he always did wear in the cathedral. And when these leaves were so done, I did not go on for a time little. For a little time I did have thinks. And the thinks I did have they were about the glad song. The glad song in my heart sings not bright to-day. It is lonesome feels I have. But I do try to have thinks as how I can bring happiness to folks about. That is such a help when lonesome feels do come. Angel Mother did say, "Make earth glad, little one that is the way to keep the fire-tongue of the glad song ever in your heart. It must not go out." I so do try to keep it there. I so do try, for it is helps on" cold days and old days. And I did have remembers as how it was Angel Mother did say, "When one keeps the glad song singing in one's heart then do the hearts of others sing." So I did make hard swallows to swallow all the lonesome feels, and I did have thinks as how I would stop to get water-cress for the mamma on the way home from school. She does have such a fondness for it. And too she does have longings for singing lessons. I am saving my pennies to buy her one. All the pennies that the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice does give to me I save. I put them in the corner of the wood-shed where i2 4 THE STORY OF OPAL Brave Horatius sleeps at nig-ht. I think I have most enough pennies to buy her a singing lesson now. I have nineteen pennies. And when I grow up I am going to buy her a whole rain-barrel full of singing lessons. And then I did have thinks as how to-morrow I will be taking Elizabeth Barrett Browning to visit the girl who has no seeing. They do both have likings for one another. The girl who has no seeing has an understanding soul. All my friends do have appreciations of the pats she does give to them and the words she does say. And sometimes a goodly number of them do have goings to her house with me. That is when her folks are not at home. Then does Elizabeth Barrett Browning walk right by my side up to the door. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus cuddles up in my arms, and in my pockets do ride other folks and Brave Horatius follows after. When we are come, she does smooth back my curls and give me a kiss. She says when we are come, "Here is come the kingdom of heaven." I have feels she has mistakes about that, because the kingdom of heaven, being up in the sky, is there beyond the stars. And when we are come, she does have asking about the voices. And I do help her to get understandings of the thoughts growing with the fleurs and the trees and the leaves. And I do tell her as how those are God's thoughts growing right up out of the earth. And she wants to know more. THE STORY OF OPAL 125 Always she does ask for more. To-morrow we will go Elizabeth Barrett Browning and me we will go the way that does lead to the house of the girl that has no seeing. To-day, after I did have thinks about it in school, I did print more messages on leaves for Angel Father and Angel Mother. I did tell them about the girl who has no seeing. And on more leaves I did print all about the cathedral and how the presence of Saint Louis is always near unto it. And then it was come time for school to let out. I went adown the road. I went the way by the field where Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne was on yesterday. I climbed the fence. I looked looks about. He was not there to-day. But there were Bede of Jarrow and Felix of Croyland. I did have talks with them. I went on. I went on to the singing creek where the willows grew. I gathered water-cress for the mamma. Then I did go my way to the house we live in. No one was there. I put the water-cress for the mamma on the cook table. Then I did bring much wood in and put it in the wood-box back of the kitchen stove. After the chickens did have their supper feed, I did go into the near woods. I so went to tie the messages I did print on gray leaves to the trees. And I tied one on one tree and one on another. I tied them there that they may go in thoughts to Angel Mother and Angel Father up in heaven there. And I did have thinks when the angels come 126 THE STORY OF OPAL to walk in the near woods they would see and carry them on. And I did say a little prayer every time I did tie on a leaf-message. I did look looks about. This woods is gray in winter when come cold days. And gray shadows walk among the trees. They touch one's face with velvet fingers when one goes walking there in the woods. In the winter old gray leaves grow to look like lace. They are very beautiful. As I did go along, I saw many gray rocks. Some gray rocks had gray and green patches on them. Some of these patches had ruffles all around their edges. The gray patches on gray rocks are lichens. My Angel Father said so. Lichen folks talk in gray tones. I think they do talk more when come win- ter days. I hear their voices more in December than I do hear their voices in July and June time. Angel Father did show me the way to listen to lichen voices. Most grown-ups don't hear them at all. I see them walk right by in a hurry sometimes. And all the time the lichen folks are saying things. And the things they say are their thoughts about the gladness of a winter day. I put my ear close to the rocks and I listen. That is how I do hear what they are saying. Then I do take a reed for a flute. I climb on a stump on the most high stump that is near. I pipe on the flute to the wind what the lichens are saying. I am piper for the lichens that dwell on the gray rocks, and the lichens that cling to the trees grown old. CHAPTER XVII Of Works to be Done; and how it Was that a Glad Light Came into the Eyes of the Man who Wears Gray Neckties and Is Kind to Mice. MORNING works is done and some more already too. There is enough barks in for to-day and to-morrow. And many kindlings are now in on the floor by the big wood-box. I have had my dinner at the noontime and I went into the barn. There were little sad sounds in the stall. It was the moos of Mathilde Plantagenet. Now I have thinks her moos were moos for some dinner at noontime. She has breakfast at morningtime and supper she has at gray-light-time. But when noontime is come, Mathilde Plantagenet is here in the barn, and her mother, the most gentle Jersey cow, is away out in the pasture. I have thinks there is needs for me to take Mathilde Plantagenet from the barn to the pasture at noontimes so she may have her dinner. I go now to so do. I did give the latch of the barn-door a slip back. Then I led Mathilde Plantagenet out by the little rope I did use to use to lead Elizabeth Barrett Browning out by when she was a little calf. We went our way to the pasture-bars. I did give to one a push, and it made a drop down. Then I gave two more pushes, and they went drop downs. We went 128 THE STORY OF OPAL on through in between. It took a more long time to fix up the pasture-bars. They have so heavy feels when I go to put them back again. When I did have them so put, we made a go-on. We went a little way on. We did not have goes far, for the gentle Jersey cow had sees of our coming and she came to meet us. We was glad to have it so. I have thinks Mathilde Plantagenet did have most joy feels about it. She did start to get her dinner from her mother in a quick way. I watched her suck and suck some more. Seeing her have her dinner from her mother a long time before supper- time did make me to have such a big amount of satisfaction feels. The grandpa felt not so. There was disturbs on his temper. He was at our house when I was come home from leading Mathilde Plantagenet hack to the barn after she had sucked her mother a long time. The mamma did spank me some and some more. Now I have wonders why was it the grandpa felt not satisfaction feels at Mathilde Plantagenet having her dinner near noontime just like most all other children. After the mamma did spank me, she told me more works to do, and she went with her father to the ranch-house to see her mother that was newly come back from the mill town where she did go early on this morning. When the more works was done, I went in a quick soft way to the woods. I made little hops over the bushes the little bushes as I did go THE STORY OF OPAL 129 along. I went along the path until I came near unto the way that does lead to the big old log where is the moss-box. I hid behind a tree when I was almost come there. I so did to wait a wait to see if the fairies were near about. I had not seeing of one about the moss-box. I looked looks about. I looked looks about the old root by the log. It turned a big piece of bark over. Under it was something between two layers of moss tied up with a pink ribbon. I felt glad feels. When I did untie the pink ribbon around the moss, there was lots more of pink ribbons. They did have little cards, and the little card on a nice long piece of pink ribbon said, "For Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus." Another card on a more long piece did say, " For William Shakespeare." Another card on a more short piece did say, "For Lars Porsena of Clusium." And there was a ribbon for Brave Horatius and Isaiah and Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing and for Mathilde Plantagenet, and there was more. I did take them all in my arms and I did go to the mill in the far woods. I so went to show all those pretty pink ribbons to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. I did show him all the cards that was on them. He was glad. I had seeing of the glad light in his eyes. He and I we do believe in fairies. Near him to-day was working the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time. He is a man with an understanding soul. When Brave Horatius did get his leg hurt the other 130 THE STORY OF OPAL day, this man did wash it and mentholatum it, and he wrapped his handkerchief in rounds around it. Brave Horatius has likes for him, too. To-day, when I did show to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice all the pink ribbons the fairies did bring, he did say he thought the other man would like to see Brave Horatius's new pink ribbon that he was going to wear to cathedral service come a Sunday. And he did have likes to see it. When I told him how it was brought by the fairies to the moss-box by the old log, he said, "By jolly that's fine." And the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice gave me pats on the head, and I brought the ribbons back to a box where I do keep things in the woods. I went on. When I was come to the house we live in, I had sees the mamma was come back. When I was come into the house, I had sees with her the mamma brought back a little bottle it is called china-mending glue guaranteed to stick. That sounds great. I believe that bottle is quite a blessing. It has an interest look. It will be of much use in many ways. I'm glad the mamma set it on the lamp-shelf, because I can climb on the stove and reach up to the shelf. Now I go to talk with the willows where Nonette flows. I am going to tell them about this being the borning day of Queen Elizabeth of York, in 1465. Then I am going goes to tell William Shakespeare and Lars Porsena of Clusium about it. CHAPTER XVIII How Opal Pays One Visit to Elsie and Another to Dear Love, and Learns how to Mend her Clothes in a Quick Way. THE nipple on Elsie's baby's milk-bottle has not stay-ons. It has had come-offs a lot of times to-day. The last time it did come off, Elsie did say, " I wish it would stick tight this time." I was standing by with the bacon she was sending back that she did borrow from the mamma. When I did hear her express her wish, I did tell her I had knows of a way to make that nipple stick tight on the baby's milk-bottle. She said, "That's nice I don't know of a way." Inside me I had feels she ought to have knows of a way now that her babies are two. But I had sees how it was she had not knows of a way; on her lamp-shelf back of the stove there is no bottle of china-mending glue guaranteed to stick. I looked looks up to the shelf and there was not any. She had asks for me to show her the way. I told her it was as I would have to go first to the house we live in. I so went in a quick way. The mamma was not in. I put the bacon on the cook-table. Then I made a climb up on the stove to get the bottle of china-mending glue. I most fell off the stove, but I'did n't. If I did, I might have broke 132 THE STORY OF OPAL the bottle of china-mending glue guaranteed to stick. That would have been a cal lamb of tea. When I was come to the house of Elsie, she had askings what was she to do. I told her to go in the bedroom and shut her eyes while her wish came true. She rilled the baby's bottle that used to be a brandy bottle with warm milk. She gave it and the nipple to me, and she went into the bedroom to wait waits for her wish to come true. A little time it took. I had to have carefuls, so there would n't be glue in top of the bottle too. I made it in a nice ring around the top. Then I put some more china- mending glue guaranteed to stick in a ring around the edge of the nipple. That fixed it. When I put it on, I had knows it would stick. I put the china-mending glue in my pocket, and when I did say, " It is fixed ! " Elsie did come. I felt a big amount of satisfaction. It is nice to help people to have what they wish for. It was as Elsie did have wishes for it to be. When I did hand it to her, she did have askings how was she going to have it stick on on other days when I was not there to make it so do. She did have asks how did I do it. I told her it was n't me it was the china-mend- ing glue guaranteed to stick. That was what did it. She had a spell of cough. It came in a sudden way upon her while I was telling her what it was that made the nipple stick like she had wishes for it to. I had not knows in the morning of this day she had a cold. Whenever she does have a cold or THE STORY OF OPAL 133 feels of a one coming, she does send in a quick way for her mother. And her mother does come. She comes down the road that goes up to the mines. She has not come yet. And it's an awful cough Elsie did have then, and tears in her eyes. When she did get better of the cough, I did give more explains how she could always make the nipple stick on tight on the baby's bottle by keep- ing there on her lamp-shelf a bottle of mending glue guaranteed to stick. She started to have coughs again and I gave her some pats on the back, like I have seen a man by the mill by the far woods pat his brother on the back. The pats on the back did help her some. When she had coughs no more, I went out the door. She stepped out on her back steps. She gave my curls a smooth back and told me thanks for making her wish come true. And she told me more thanks for the in form ashun about how to make the nipple stick on the baby's bottle other times. When I was come into the house we live in, I had thinks to go to visit Dear Love. When I did give my dress a smooth-out, I did have feels of that tear I got in it yesterday on top the barn door when I did go to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. That was not a little tear. It was quite a big one. I had thinks it might get some more tear if I did not mend it. I got a patch. It was almost like the dress. It was a piece of a piece that was left when the mamma did make for her baby a jacket of 134 THE STORY OF OPAL light blue outing flannel. The patch of light blue looked nice on my dark blue calico dress, and the patch did have a soft feel. I mended it onto my dress with china-mending glue guaranteed to stick. Mending it that way saves so much time. It is quicker than mending it with a needle and thread in the regular way. Then I went to get the cap of the husband of Dear Love. The husband of Dear Love has given me one of his old caps to carry some of my pets in. Sometimes caterpillars do ride in it black and brown ones that do roll up in a ball and sleep the all of the time that I have them out for a walk. And sometimes Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mozart and Louis II, le Grand Conde, do all ride in it. It is a nice warm place for them to ride when we do go on winter walks. But mostly Louis II, le Grand Conde, has prefers to ride in the sleeves of my warm red dress. Sometimes Brave Horatius does wear this cap that was the cap of the husband of Dear Love. It so was to-day when Brave Horatius and I did go to visit Dear Love; Brave Horatius did wear the cap of her husband. I put little pink-ribbon strings on it, and I did tie them under his chin in a nice way. He was very quiet while I did so do, and his being quiet did help me to get them tied in a nice way. He is such a lovely dog. And he does have appreciations for all the things I do for him. When I did have that cap tied on in a nice way, he did THE STORY OF OPAL 13$ bark a joy bark, and he gave his tail three wags, and we did start to go to the house of Dear Love. As we did go along I did make stops to look for cones and to get a piece of long moss. I put them in my pocket. I put them there for the girl who has no seeing. She has likes for the things I bring her to feel. She says she has likes to have them near her in the house she does live in. So most every day I do find something for her, so she can have joy with its feels. She so does like pine-needles. I did gather for her my little basket full of pine-needles under the most tall pine tree of all. We went on. Little blue fleurs are early blooming now, before the oak and maple trees have yet their leaves. I do so like blue. It is glad everywhere. When I grow up I am going to write a book about the glads of blue and about the dauphinelle and lin and cornette and nigelle and herbe-de-la-trinite . We made more stops to tell the willows by Non- ette about this day being the borning day of Galileo in 1564 and the going-away day of Michael Angelo in 1564. And I did say another little thank prayer to God for their borning. This morning we did have prayers of thanks in the cathedral for the works they did on earth. And Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing was there and Brave Horatius and most of the rest of us, except Louis II, le Grand Conde. When we were come to the house of Dear Love, the husband of Dear Love was making for her a chair. He was putting much work on all the little i 3 6 THE STORY OF OPAL pieces. He did make all little rough places to have much smoothness. He so did with tools out of a tool-box he does keep in the kitchen of their little house. When he is not having uses of the tools in the tool-box, then the tool-box has its lid down and it is a seat to sit on. Sometimes on rainy days when I do take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to visit Dear Love, we all do sit on the tool-box and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus does allow Dear Love to give him gentle pats on his nice white paws. He does have such beautiful ones. To-day he did have allows for her to pat his paws while we did sit on a little bench. Dear Love had thinks the appears of the cap of her husband on the head of Brave Horatius was very nice. And the husband of Dear Love did say the pink ribbons now on his cap made it a better- looking cap. I had thinks so, too. Before I did have comes back to the house we live in, Dear Love did get out a piece of calico just like my dress. Then she cut out the light blue patch that I did mend on with china-mending glue guaranteed to stick. She did sew on the blue calico patch in a nice way. She so did because she thought the light blue patch of outing flannel would be nice for a crib- robe for Felix Mendelssohn. While Dear Love was sewing that blue calico patch on my blue calico dress with little stitches, her husband did smile and look at her and he did say, "Another reason." Now I have thinks the THE STORY OF OPAL 137 other reason was that he had fears if I longer wore that light blue patch of outing flannel on my dress, some of its soft feels would get wored off and would n't be there for the joys of Felix Mendelssohn. He is a mouse that has likes for soft feels to go to sleep in. CHAPTER XIX Of the Camp by the Mill by the Far Woods; of the Spanking that Came from the New Way of Mending Clothes; and of the Long Sleep of William Shakespeare. THE papa is again come home from one of the upper camps one of those by the riviere. I had seeing of him when I went to look for Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil under the front step. He said he was going to make early garden. He said he thought he would set some onions out and plant some radishes and some seeds that will grow into lettuce. I did make a stop to help him. He said for me to carry off the rocks where he did make spade-ups. I did. I picked up the rocks in a quick way. I carried them a little way away by the brook. When sum- mertime is come, I have thinks I will put them in the brook with some more to make the brook have more wideness. And the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time has made me a water- wheel to go rounds in the brook when summertime is come. The time it took to pick up those rocks it was a time long. I did like to do it. I had thinks it would be of helps to the papa. After they was all picked up and carried over by the brook, I did go to the papa to see what more helps I could be. He was talking with the husband of Elsie. When I did THE STORY OF OPAL 139 ask him what helps I could be, he told me to run away from there he wanted to talk. I so did. I got Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, and we went to the woods. Brave Horatius did come a-following after. And Louis II, le Grand Conde, did ride in the sleeve of my warm red dress. As we did go along, the leaves of salal did make little rustles. They were little askings. They had wants to know what day this was. I made stops along the way to tell them it was the going-away day of Gentile Bellini in 1507 and Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1792 and John Keats in 1821 and the horning day of George Frederick Handel in 1685. I have thinks they and the tall fir trees were glad to know. Brave Horatius barked a bark and we went on. He looked a look back to see if we was coming. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did cuddle up more close in my arms. We saw six birds and I did sing to Brave Horatius the bird song of grandpere of roitelet and ortolan and bruant and etourneau and rossignol and tourterelle and durbec and orfraie and roussettt and loriot and nonnette and sarcelle and draine and epeiche and cygne and hirondelle and aigle and ramier and tarin and rousserolle and emerillon and sittelle. Brave Horatius and William Shake- speare do have likes for that song. Sometimes I bo sing it to them four times a day. We all did go on until we were come near to where were two men of the mill by the far woods. THE STORY OF OPAL They were making divides of a very large log. They were making it to be many short logs. There was a big saw going moves between. One man did push it and one man did pull it. I went on. I did look a look back. I had sees there was a tall fern growing by the foot of one man, and he did have his new overalls cut off where they do meet the boots. I wonder why it is the lumber- camp folk do cut off their overalls where they do meet the boots. When they so cut them, they get fringy and such fringes are more long than other fringes. I wonder why it is they so cut them it maybe is because they so want fringes about the edge of the legs of their overalls. I would have prefers for ruffles. We did go on. We went a little way on, and we had sees of more folks of the camp by the mill by the far woods. I did make a climb upon an old tree-root to have sees of them at work. Brave Horatius made a jump up, and he came in a walk over to where me and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus were sitting. We had seeing of them all work- ing. I have thinks the folks that live in the lumber camps they are kindly folk. When they come home from work at eventime, I do so like to sit on a stump and watch them go by. They come in twos and threes. They do carry their dinner-pails in their hands. And some do whistle as they come. And some do talk. And some that do see me sitting on the stump do come aside and give to me the w o I* t I w ffi h ^ O o o o DH 2 < V I S EH t I M w Q THE STORY OF OPAL 141 scraps in their dinner-pails. Some have knowing of the needs I do have for scraps in the nursery and the hospital. And too, when they come home from work in the far woods, the men do bring bits of moss and nice velvet caterpillars and little rocks. Some do. And these they give to me for my nature collections. And I feel joy feels all over. Brave Horatius does bark joy barks. He does know and I do know the folks that live in the lumber camps they are kindly folks. Morning is glad on the hills. I hear a song like unto the song of the verdier. The sky sings in blue tones. The earth sings in green. I am so happy. The mamma is gone for a visit away. Before her going she did set me to mind the baby. I do so. In between times I print, and I do spell over and over the words in my two books Angel Father and Angel Mother did make. I sing-song the letters of the words when I go adown the road. So I do when I am in the house when the mamma is n't at home. I do not so when she is at home, because she won't let me. Now Elizabeth Barrett Browning is calling me out in the pasture. I expect she wants an apple or a sugar-lump. But I cannot have goes out there to the pasture because the mamma did say for me to mind the baby and mind the house. I sing to the baby words out of the two books and the song about Iraouaddy and the bird-song of grandpere. i 4 2 THE STORY OF OPAL And I have minded the house as the mamma did say for me to do. First I swept the floors in a care- ful way. The broom made bobby moves. That broom in my hands makes not moves like the moves it does make in the hands of the mamma. It has so much of tallness. I look looks up its handle. And afterwards I did the windows a wash up and down with a cloth that did have bon ami on it. When the windows do get dirt on them it is quite a worry on the mamma's mind. She so likes to have all things clean. I have thinks maybe she will have some glad feels way down in her heart where one cannot see them when she is come home and has seeing of the windows made clean. And more helps I have done. Most every week there is patches to fix on clothes that have needs of them. Patching is quite a worry on the mamma's mind. It will be so no more. I have found a better way. While she was gone away to-day I did get all the week's patching done. First I began on the papa's undershirt. It needed a big patch on the elbow. The mamma had cut out the patch and pinned it there on the sleeve near unto the hole. I patched it on with china-mending glue guaran- teed to stick. Then I did do all the other patching that was in the basket. It did take most all the china-mending glue. When I did see it was most all gone, I did have remembers of that kettle that I have heard the mamma say she has wishes its lid would stick on tight. It is always a-coming off. I did fix that THE STORY OF OPAL 143 lid on that kettle so it will stay as tight as the mamma has wishes for it to. And then I did put the bottle that used to be full of china-mending glue back in its place on the lamp-shelf. The baby had wake-ups and I did sing it to sleep. When sleeps was come upon the baby, the mamma did come in the door. First she went to look upon her dear baby sleeping there on the bed. She said now she was going to mend those two mush-dishes. And she got the pieces of them from the cupboard. She put them on the cook-table. And then the mamma went to get the china-mending glue guar- anteed to stick. There was none in the bottle. I knew where it was gone. The mamma knew too. After she did spank for some long time, she did ask me what I did with all that glue. It took quite some time to tell her about Elsie's baby's bottle that she had wishes for the nipple to stick on tight, and about all the patches the china-mending glue did fix, and all the other things that it did fix. When I got to the end she did spank me again. She said that was to be good on. Now I do think it was real kind of her to tell me what that last spanking was for. Most times I don't know what I get spanked for. And I do like to know, because if I did have knows what I was spanked for, I'd be real careful about doing what it was again, if it was not helping folks of the fields and woods. I have to do that no matter how many spanks I do get for it. But there is so much joy in the woods and does help spank feels to hurt not so much. Now I think 144 THE STORY OF OPAL I will go feed the folks in the nursery, and then I will go to have vesper service in the cathedral. Most all this afternoon-time I have been out in the field the one that is nearest unto the woods. I have been having talks with William Shakespeare. To-day he is not working in the woods with the other horses. He is having a rest-day. He was laying down near unto one of the altars I have builded for Saint Louis. He did lay there all the afternoon. Tiredness was upon him. I gave his nose rubs, and his neck and ears, too. And I did tell him poems and sing him songs. He has likes for me to so do. After I did sing him more, sleeps did come upon him. The breaths he did breathe while he was going to sleep, they were such long breaths. And I gave unto him more pats on the nose and pats on the neck. We are chums William Shake- speare and me. This evening I will come again to wake him. I'll come just before suppertime, so he may go in with the other horses to eat his supper in the barn. I did. Sleeps was yet upon him. He looked so tired lying there. I went up to pet his front leg, but it was stiff. I petted him on the nose and his nose it was so cold. I called him, but he did not answer. I said again, "William Shakespeare, don't you, hear me calling?' 1 but he did not answer. I have thinks he is having a long rest so he will have ready feels to pull the heavy poles on to-morrow. I THE STORY OF OPAL 145 now go goes to tell the man that wears gray neck- ties and is kind to mice about William Shake- speare having all this rest-day and how he has sleeps in the field with the pink ribbon around his neck that the fairies did bring. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus is going goes with me. We will wait on the stump by that path he does follow when he comes home from work at eventime. We are come back. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did go with us to see William Shakespeare having his long sleep there in the field by the altar of Saint Louis. Now I do have understanding. My dear William Shake- speare will no more have wake-ups again. Rob Ryder cannot give him whippings no more. He has gone to a long sleep a very long sleep. He just had goes because tired feels was upon him. I have so lonesome feels for him, but I am glad that Rob Ryder cannot whip him now no more. I have covered him over with leaves. To find enough, I went to the far end of the near woods. I gathered them into my apron. Sometimes I could hardly see my way because I just could not keep from crying. I have such lonesome feels. William Shakespeare did have an understanding soul. And I have knows his soul will not have forgets of the willows by the singing creek. Often I will leave a message there on a leaf for him. I have thinks his soul is not far gone away. There are little blue fleurs a-blooming where he did lay him down to sleep. CHAPTER XX Of the Little Song-Notes that Dance about Babies; and of the Solemn Christening of Solomon Grundy. TO-DAY was wash-day come again. After I did do my parts of the washing, I did go to feed the folks in the nursery. When I was come back again, I did start to make things out of clay. I was making vases out of clay when the mamma called me to come empty the wash-water. There were two tubs full of water. That's an awful lot of water to empty. But I carry it out in the wash-pan. And wash-pansfull of water are not so much water at a time, but they soon empty the tub. Then the mamma did have me to weed onions. There were an awful lot of weeds trying to grow up around those onions. It took a very long time to pull all the weeds. And my back did get some tired feels, but I did get those weeds pulled out. I have thinks the onions were saying, when the wind did rustle them, "We thank you for the more room we now have got to grow in." Folks growing in a garden do say interest things. From the onion garden I did go to the Jardin des Tuileries. I so did go to have a little service there, for this is the borning day of Charles de Valois in 1270, and the going-away day of Saint Gregoire in 604. Felix Mendelssohn did ride in my pocket to THE STORY OF OPAL 147 service. He did sleep most of the time, though. I did begin to sing by the two little trees I have planted, for Saint Gregoire I and Charles de Valois. I first did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dom- inus Deus, Hosanna in excelsis." While I was singing, Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium came. They did wait while I did sing two more songs. Then I said a long prayer and a little prayer. Afterwards we did start to go along the path. We went a little way. Then I did go aside. I went aside to the house of Elsie, to see the new baby. It was sleeping in its cradle that the husband of Elsie made out of a box. He put rockers on the box and Elsie put soft feels in it. After the box did have rockers on it and soft feels in it, they did take the baby girl from the cradle and lay her in the bed. And now everyday, except the day she does go with her mother Elsie to visit her grandma, the baby does lay in the cradle. And Elsie does rock the cradle with her foot while she sews. She sings and sings. She sings "Rock-a-by baby in the tree-top; when the wind blows, the cradle will rock." And while she does sing, I have knowings that the little song-notes do dance about the cradle of the baby. To-day I did stay quite a time long to look upon the face of the baby. I so do love babies. Every night I pray for the twins I want when I grow up. Some nights I pray that they may have blue eyes and golden hair. Other nights I pray for them to 148 THE STORY OF OPAL have brown eyes and brown hair. Sadie McKibben tells me I better stop changing my prayers about so much, or the angels may bring to me when I grow up twins with streaked hair and variegated eyes. After I did look upon the little baby at the house of Elsie, I did have thinks to go to the house of Sadie McKibben. I so did go. As I did go along, I did have wonders if mothers can see the little song- notes that dance about their babies' cradles when they sing lullaby songs to them. I went on across the field. When I was come to a stump by the fence corner, I stopped. I heard a criard noise. It came from near the stump. I think it was a mulot. I looked looks about. I had not seeing of it. I went on. I saw a blue jay near by the old log where I did hide nineteen acorn children on a gray day in September. He was looking looks about. I watched him make a flyaway with one of my acorns. I did count what = was left. There was only a few. I went on. When I was come to the house of Sadie McKibben, she was washing clothes. On washing days Sadie McKibben does look a bit dif- ferent from her appears on other days. On wash- days along in the afternoon her hair does hang in strings about her face. Her dress does have crin- kles all adown it. And her nice blue gingham apron with cross stitches on it does have rumples and soapy smells. I do know so for I do smell those soapy smells when I cuddle close to her apron on wash-days. THE STORY OF OPAL 149 To-day I did stay by the side of Sadie McKibben for a little time. Then I did go to weed her onions for her. They did have looks like they did have needs for more room to grow in. And while I did weed her onions, I did see many beautiful things about. There is so much to see near about and a little way off, and there is so much to hear. And most all the time I am seeing, I am hearing, and I do have such glad feels. To-day we did christen Solomon Grundy. He was borned a week ago yesterday on Monday. That's why we did name him Solomon Grundy. And this being Tuesday we did christen him, for in the rhyme, the grandpa does sing to the children about Solomon Grundy being christened on Tues- day. Yesterday I made him a christening robe out of a new dish-towel that was flapping in the wind. But the aunt had no appreciation of the great need of a christening robe for Solomon Grundy. And my ears were slapped until I thought my head would pop open, but it did n't. It just ached. Last night when I went to bed I prayed for the ache to to go away. This morning when I woke up it had gone out the window. I did feel good feels from my nightcap to my toes. I thought about the christen- ing, and early on this morning, before I yet did eat my breakfast, I went out the window that the ache went out in the night. I went from the win- dow to the pig-pen. ISO THE STORY OF OPAL I climbed into the pig-pen. I crawled on my hands and knees back under the shed where he and his sisters five and his little brother were all hav- ing breakfast from their mother. I gently did pull away by his hind-legs, from among all those dear baby pigs, he who had the most curl in his tail. I took him to the pump and pumped water on him to get every speck of dirt off. He squealed because the water was cold. So I took some of the warm water the mamma was going to wash the milk-pans in and I did give him a warm bath in the v/ash-pan. Then he was the pinkiest white pig you ever saw. I took the baby's talcum-powder can and I shook it lots of times all over him. When the powder sprinkled in his eyes, he did object with a regular baby-pig squeal. And I climbed right out the bed- room window with him, because the mamma heard his squeal and she was coming fast. I did go to the barn in a hurry, for in the barn yesterday I did hide the christening robe. When I reached the top of the hay I stopped to put it on Solomon Grundy. Then we proceeded to the cathedral. A little ways we did go, and I remembered how on the borning day of him I did ask that grand fir tree, Good King Edward I, to be his god-father. And that smaller fir tree growing by his side the lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile I did ask to be his godmother. We went aside from the path that leads unto the cathedral. We went another way. We went adown the lane to where dwell Good King THE STORY OF OPAL 151 Edward I and the lovely Queen Eleanor. And there beside them Solomon Grimdy was christened. They who were present at the christening were these Saint Louis and Charlemagne and Hugh Capet and King Alfred and Theodore Roosevelt and William Wordsworth and Homer and Cicero and Brave Horatius and Isaiah. These last two did arrive in a hurry in the midst of the service. Being dogs with understanding souls, they did realize the sacredness of the occasion and they stood silent near Charlemagne. When we got most to the end of the service just at that very solemn moment while I was waiting for Good King Edward I and his lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile to bestow their blessing upon the white head of the babe, he gave a squeal just the kind of a squeal all baby pigs give when they are wanting their dinner. After the naming of him, I placed around his neck a little wreath that I made in the evening yesterday for him. Then I did sing softly a hymn to the morning and came again home to the pig-pen with Solomon Grundy. When I got to the corner of the barn, I pulled off his christening robe. I did hide it again in the hay. Then I climbed into the pig-pen. I did say the Lord's prayer softly over the head of Solomon Grundy. After I said Amen I did poke him in among all his sisters and near unto his mother. Aphrodite gave a grunt of satisfaction, also did Solomon Grundy. 152 THE STORY OF OPAL I went to the house. I climbed in the window again. I took off my nightcap and my nightgown. I did get dressed in a quick way. The little girl was romping in the bed. I helped her to get her clothes on. Then we went to the kitchen for our breakfast. The mamma was in the cellar. She did hear me come into the kitchen. She came in. With her came a kindling and a hazel switch. After she did spank me, she told me to get the mush for the little girl's breakfast. It was in a kettle. I spooned it out into a blue dish that came as premium in the box of mush when they brought it new from the mill town. After we did eat our mush and drink our milk, the mamma told me to clear the table and go tend chickens. I carried feed to them. I scattered it in shakes. The chickens came in a quick way. Fifteen of those chickens I did give names to, but it's hard to tell some of them apart. Most of them have about the same number of speckles on them. I counted all the chickens that were there. There were n't as many there as ought to be there. Some came not. These were the hens setting in the chicken-house. I went in. I lifted them off. They were fidgety and fluffy and clucky. I did carry them out to the feed. While they were eating breakfast I counted their eggs. I made a discovery. Minerva had n't as many eggs as the others. That meant she would n't have as many children as the others would have. I did begin to feel sorry about that, because already THE STORY OF OPAL 153 I had picked out names for her fifteen children and there in her nest there were only twelve eggs. I did n't know what to do, and then I had a think what to do. I did it. I took an egg from each nest of the three other setting hens. That fixed things. Then I thought I would go on an exploration trip and to the nursery, and there I would give the folks a talk on geology. But then the mamma called me to scour the pots and pans. That is something I do not like to do at all. So all the time I 'm scouring them I keep saying lovely verses, that helps so much, and by and by the pots and pans are all clean. After that all day the mamma did have more works for me to do. There was more wood to bring in. There was steps to scrub. There was cream to be shaked into butter. There was raking to do in the yard. There was carpet-strings to sew together. In-between times there was the baby to tend. And all the time all day long I did have longings to go on exploration trips. The fields were calling. The woods were calling. I heard the wind. He was making music in the forest. It was soft music. It was low. It was an echo of the songs the flowers were singing. Even if there was much works to do, hearing the voices helped me to get the works done in the way they ought to be done. The most hurry time of all was the time near eventime, for there was going to be company to eat at the table. The mamma was in a hurry to get supper. So I helped her. She only had time to give 154 THE STORY OF OPAL one shake of salt to the potatoes, so I gave them three more. She did not have time to put sauce on the peas, so I flavored them with lemon extract, for the mamma is so fond of lemon flavoring in lemon pies. When she made the biscuits, she was in such a hurry she forgot to set them on a box back of the stove for an airing, as usual, before putting them in the oven. Being as she forgot to do it, while she was in the cellar to get the butter I did take the pan of biscuits out of the oven and put them under the stove so they would not miss their usual airing. Then I did go to the wood-shed for more wood. When I did put it in the wood-box the mamma reached over for me. She jerked me. She spanked me with her hand and the hair-brush and the pankcake-turner. Then she shoved me out the door. She said for me to get out and stay out of her way. I came here to the barn. I sit here printing. In-between times I stretch out on the hay. I feel tired and sore all over. I wonder for what it was the mamma gave me that spanking. I have tried so hard to help her to-day. Solomon Grundy is grunting here beside me. I went by and got him as I came along. Here on the hay I showed to him the writings in the two books my Angel Father and Angel Mother made for me. These books are such a comfort, and when I have them right along with me, Angel Father and Angel Mother do seem nearer. I did bow my head and ask my guardian angel THE STORY OF OPAL 155 to tell them there in heaven about Solomon Grundy being christened to-day. Then I drew him up closer to my gingham apron and I patted him often. And some of the pats I gave to him were for the lovely Peter Paul Rubens that used to be. And the more pats I gave Solomon Grundy, the closer he snuggled up beside me. To-night I shall sing to him a lullaby song as I cuddle him up all snowy white in his christening robe, before I take him out to his mother Aphrodite in the pig-pen. I now have a bottle with a nipple on it for Solo- mon Grundy. But he won't pay much attention to it. He has prefers to get his dinner from his mother Aphrodite out in the pig-pen. After he so did have his dinner to-day, and after my morning works were done and I did have that hen started on a set that hen had wants to set so much; I did have an awful time getting her off the nest at feeding-time. I had thinks I would set her myself, being as the mamma does n't want to bother about it. I had thinks I would put three eggs under her to-day, and three more when comes to-morrow, and three on the next day, and three on the next. That will give her a good setting of eggs to start on. To-day, after I so did have her started on a set with three eggs, then I went to visit Dear Love. I did cuddle up Solomon Grundy in one arm and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus in the other arm. And so we went to visit Dear Love. Solomon 156 THE STORY OF OPAL Grundy wore his christening robe and he looked very sweet in it. I gave him a nice warm bath before we did start, so as to get all the pig-pen smells off. Sometimes smells do get in that pig-pen, though I do give it brush-outs every day, and I do carry old leaves and bracken ferns and straws in for beds for Aphrodite. After I did give Solomon Grundy his bath I did dust talcumatum powder over him. I was real careful not to get any in his eyes. As we did go along I did sing to them a lullaby about Nonette and Saint Firmin, and more I did sing about Iraoua'ddy. We went on. Then I did tell them about the beautiful love the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time does have for the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes. But he is afraid to tell her about it Sadie McKibben says he is. Sadie McKibben says he is a very shy man. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did go to sleeps while I was telling them about it and Solomon Grundy did grunt a little grunt. It was a grunt for more sings. So I did sing to him, " Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee? " He had likes for that song and he grunted a grunt with a question in it. So I did sing him some more, "Indeed he did, Solomon Grundy, indeed he did. And the hairs of thy baby head they are num- bered." Soon I shall be counting them to see how many they are. THE STORY OF OPAL 157 We went on to the house of Dear Love. When we were come to there, the husband of Dear Love was digging in the ground under the front window of their little house. As he did dig, he did pick up the little rocks that were under the window and he did lay them aside. I did have asks what for was he digging up the ground under their window. And he did give explanations. He is making a flower-bed, and when it is made, Dear Love is going to plant morning-glory seeds in it. And then morning-glory vines will grow up around the window. I think that will be so nice. I did ask him how far up they would grow. And he reached up his hand to where they have thinks the morning-glory vines will grow to. I looked up. It was high up. It was lots more up than I have growed to. Now I think it would be nice to be a morning-glory vine and grow up and up. In the fields I have had seeing that the little white ones there do grow out and out. I did ask them how many leaves does the morning-glory have, that is going to grow up by their window. They both did say they were sorry but they did not know. Then I did tell them that they did not need to have cry feels about it, because when it is grow- ing up we can learn together how many leaves it has. And he did stop digging digs, to take Solomon Grundy in his arms, and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus had allows for Dear Love to pet his paws. CHAPTER XXI How Opal Names Names of the Lambs of Aidan of lona, and Seeks for the Soul of Peter Paul Rubens. TO-DAY was a very stormy day more rainy than other stormy days. So we had cathedral service on the hay in the barn. Mathilde Plan- tagenet was below us in her stall, and she did moo moos while I did sing the choir-service. Plato and Pliny, the two bats, hung on the rafters in a dark corner. Lars Porsena of Clusium perched on the back of Brave Horatius. Thomas Chatterton Jupi- ter Zeus sat at my feet and munched leaves while I said prayers. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil was on my right shoulder, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, was on my left shoulder part of the time; then he did crawl in my sleeve to have a sleep. Solomon Grundy was asleep by my side in his christening robe, and a sweet picture he was in it. On my other side was his little sister, Anthonya Mundy, who has not got as much curl in her tail as has Solomon Grundy. Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen, was late come to service. She came up from the stall of the gentle Jersey cow just when I was through singing "Hosanna in excelsis." She came and perched on the back of Brave Horatius, back of Lars Porsena of Clusium. Then I said more prayers, and Brave Horatius did bark Amen. When he so did, Clem- THE STORY OF OPAL 159 entine tumbled off his back. She came over by me. I had thinks it would be nice if her pretty gray feathers were blue. I gave her a gentle pat and then I did begin the talk service. I did use for my text, "Blessed be the pure in heart, for they shall see God." And all of the time the raindrops did made little joy patters on the roof. They were coming down from the sky in a quick way. Now is the begins of the borning-time of the year. I did hurry home from school in a quick way in the afternoon of this day. Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne has said I may name the little lambs that now are coming. All day I did have thinks about what names to call them by. There are some names I do so like to sing the spell of. Some names I do sing over and over again when I do go on explores. I could hardly wait waits until school-getting-out time. I had remembers how Sadie McKibben says no child should grow a day old without having a name. Now some of those dear baby lambs are two and three days old since their borning-time. When I was come to where was Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne, I did tell him now I have come to name all your lambs. He did have one little lamb in his arms. He did tell me as how it was it did n't belong to anyone, and it was lone- some without a mother. He said he had thinks he would give it to me to mother, I was so happy. It 160 THE STORY OF OPAL was very white and very soft and its legs was slim and it had wants for a mother. It had likes for me to put my arms around it. I did name it first of all. I called it Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. It had likes for the taste of my fingers when I did dip them into the pan of milk on the rock and then put them in its mouth. Its woolly tail did wiggle joy wiggles. And I did dance on my toes. I felt such a big amount of satisfaction feels having a lamb to mother. I am getting quite a big family now. After I did dip my fingers in the milk for Menander Eurip- ides Theocritus Thucydides, I was going goes to see about getting a brandy bottle somewhere and a nipple, so this baby lamb could have a bottle to nurse like other babies hereabouts. When I did make a start to go, Aidan of lona come from Lin- disfarne did say, "You are not going away before you name the others, are you?' : Of course I was not, and he said Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides was full up of milk for to-day, and I could bring his bottle on the morrow. Then I did make begins to name the other lambs. They were dear and so dear. First one I did come to I did name Plutarch Demosthenes; the next one I did name Marcus Aurelius. And one came close by Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne, and I called it Epicurus Pythagoras. One did look a little more little than the others : I called him Anacreon Herodotus. One was more big than all the others. THE STORY OF OPAL 161 I named him Homer Archimedes Chilon. He gave his tail a wiggle and came close to his mother. One had a more short tail and a question look in his eyes. I called him Sophocles Diogenes. And one more I called Periander Pindar, and one was Solon Thales, and the last one of all that had not yet a name, I did call him Tibullus Theognis. He was a very fuzzy lamb and he had very long legs. The shepherd did have likes for the names I did give to his little lambs, and the names I did give to his sheep a long time ago. And to-day, when he did tell me how he did have likes for their names, I did tell him how I have likes for them too, and how I have thinks to learn more about them when I do grow up more tall. I told him how I did sing the spell of the words to the fishes that live in the sing- ing creek where the willows grew. After I said good-bye to all the other lambs, I did kiss Menan- der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides on the nose. I have thinks every eventime I will kiss him good- night, because maybe he does have lonesome feels too, and maybe he does have longs for kisses like the longs I do have for them every night-time. Before I was come to the house we do live in, I did make a stop by the singing creek where the willows grow. I did print a message on a leaf. It was for the soul of William Shakespeare. I tied it on a willow branch. Then I did go by the cathedral to say thank prayers for Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. And I did have remem- 162 THE STORY OF OPAL bers that this was the going-away day of Reine Marie Amelie in 1866 and Queen Elizabeth in 1603. And I did say a thank prayer for the good- ness of them. It was near dark-time. There were little whispers in the woods and shadows with velvet fingers. I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanc- tus, Dominus Deus." Before I did come on to the house we live in, I did go aside to have sees of a cream lily that has its growing near unto the cathedral. I have watched the leafing of that lily, and I have watched its budding. A long time I have had thinks about it. To-day its blooming-time was come. There it was. I went close unto it. My soul was full of thank feels. Ever since the day when Peter Paul Rubens did go away, I have looked for his soul in tree-tops and all about. Now I have knows his soul does love to linger by this lily. I did kneel by it and say a thank prayer for the blooming of this fleur. Peter Paul Rubens's soul does love to linger near. If ever I go from here, I will take with me this lily plant. I did have feels that my dear Peter Paul Rubens was very near this eventime. To-day is more rain come again. I like rain. I like the music patters it does make, i like to have feels of it on my head. When it rains, I like to go barefooted. I like to feel the clean mud by the lane ooze up between my toes. When I did see the rain coming down in so fast a way, I did go to the barn. And after I did have them off, I did put my shoes THE STORY OF OPAL 163 and stockings in the hay. I went out to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael about this day being the borning day of Sanzio Raphael in 1483. Then I came down by the lane. I was so glad to have my shoes and stockings off. The feel was so good. Having my shoes and stockings off made my heels feel like they were getting wings. I went up and down the lane. Brave Horatius came a-following after. I had thinks to go see how was Minerva in the hen-house. I saw her feathers were more fluffy, and there was some more heads than hers in her nest. There was the heads of the little chickens I did pick out names for before they was yet hatched. And now I cannot tell them apart. Minerva had one baby chicken to hatch four days ago, and one baby chicken three days ago, and one more baby chicken two days ago. I heard the grandpa say it was a puzzle what was making that hen to have her chickens begin hatch- ing so soon and then no more to hatch until to-day. Too, I have thinks it is a puzzle. But any way she is going to have fifteen chickens, because that day a little time ago I took one egg each from those hens that was set before she was, so Minerva would have the fifteen children I had already picked out names for. I did tell Minerva again the names I did pick out for all her children before they was yet hatched. I told her Edmund Spenser and John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont and Jean Racine and Sir Walter Raleigh and Jean Moliere and Sir Francis Bacon 1 64 THE STORY OF OPAL and Nicholas Boileau and Sir Philip Sidney and Jean de la Fontaine and Ben Jonson and Oliver Goldsmith and Cardinal Richelieu and Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Pius VII. And Minerva had joy feels when I did tell her, and she ate all the grain in my hand while I was telling her. Minerva is a very nice hen and it is so nice she has so many children at once. I so do like to pick out names for children. Now I have thinks there is needs for me to hurry to get those christening robes done for her children, being as they are hatching now. On the day of their christening I will carry them in a little basket to the cathedral. There is needs to carry little chickens in a basket, for they are delicate. To-day I did show Minerva the little cap with ruffles on it that I have just made for her to wear to the cathedral at their christening. I made it like Jenny Strong's morning-cap with ruffles on it. After I did talk some more with Minerva, and she did chuckle some more chuckles, I did make a start to go to the cathedral to have a thank service for the borning of Sanzio Raphael in 1483. As I did go, I went aside to the pig-pen. Every time my way goes near to the way that goes to the pig-pen I do go that way. I so go to take a peep at Aphro- dite. She does have such a motherly look with those dear baby-pigs about her. How nice it must be to be a mother-pig. It must be a big amount of sat- isfaction, having so many babies at one time. CHAPTER XXII How Solomon Grundy Falls Sick and Grows Well again; and Minerva's Chickens are Christened; and the Pensee Girl, with the Far- Away Look in her Eyes, Finds Thirty-and- Three Bunches of Flowers. TO-DAY I went not to school. For a long time after breakfast the mamma did have me to cut potatoes into pieces. To-night and to-morrow night the grown-ups will plant the pieces of pota- toes I cut to-day. Then by-and-by after some long time the pieces of potato with eyes on them will have baby potatoes under the ground. Up above the ground they will be growing leaves and flowers. One must leave an eye on every piece of potato one plants in the ground to grow. It won't grow if you don't. It can't see how to grow without its eye. All day to-day I did be careful to leave an eye on every piece. And I did have meditations about what things the eyes of potatoes do see there in the ground. I have thinks they do have seeing of black velvet moles and large earthworms that do get short in a quick way. And potato flowers above the ground do see the doings of the field and maybe they do look away and see the willows that grow by the singing creek. I do wonder if potato plants do have longings to dabble their toes. I have supposes they do just like I do. Being 1 66 THE STORY OF OPAL a potato must be interest specially the having so many eyes. I have longings for more eyes. There is much to see in this world all about. Every day I do see beautiful things everywhere I do go. To-day it was near eventime the time I did have all those potatoes ready for plants. Then I did go to see Solomon Grundy in the pig-pen. I did take a sugar-lump in my apron pocket for his dear mother, Aphrodite. She had appreciations and well looks. But the looks of Solomon Grundy they were not well looks. He did lay so still in a quiet way. I gave to him three looks. I felt a lump come in my throat. His looks they were so different. I made a run for the wood-box the wood-box I did bring before for the getting-in of Brave Hora- tius to service in the pig-pen. I did step on it in getting Solomon Grundy out of the pig-pen. I did have fears if I did it in jumps, as I always do, the jumps might bother the feelings of Solomon Grundy. So I did have needs for that box. It is such a help. Every time I do get a place fixed in the pig-pen so some of the pigs can get out to go to walks and to go to the cathedral service, the grown-ups at the ranch-house do always fix the boards back again. So a box is helps to get the little pigs that are n't too big over the top. When I did have Solomon Grundy over the top, I did cuddle him up in my gray calico apron. I have thinks he does like the blue one best. But to-day he had not seeings it was n't the blue one I THE STORY OF OPAL 167 had on. He did not give his baby squeaks. He was only stillness. I did have fears that sickness was upon him. He has lost that piece of asafiditee I did tie around his neck the other day. That was the last piece I did have. It was the little piece that was left of the big piece that the mamma did tie around my neck, and I did make divides with my friends. But Solomon Grundy he has lost his share both times. He does lose it in a quick way. And I did have no Castoria to give him, because the mamma has gone and put away the baby's bottle of Castoria where I cannot find it. I did not have knowings what to do for him. But I did have thinks the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice would have knowings what to do for the sickness of Solomon Grundy. I made starts to the mill by the far woods. Brave Horatius was waiting at the barn. He gave his tail two wags and followed after. We went by Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. I did tell him the baby in my arms was sick. I said a little prayer over his head. We went along the lane. When we were come to Good King Edward I and lovely Queen Eleanor, we made stops. I did tell them of the sickness of the baby. I said a little prayer for his getting well. And I did hold him up for their blessing. Then we went on, and Brave Horatius came a-following after. When we were come to the ending of the lane, I said another little prayer. Then we went on. When we were come near unto the altar of Good 1 68 THE STORY OF OPAL King Edward I, I said another little prayer. Then we went on. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was in the woods, and she went with us. She mostly does so. And we went on. By-and-by my arms was getting tired. Solomon Grundy, now that he is older grown, does get a little heavy when I carry him quite a long ways. When I was come to the far end of the near woods, I met the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He smiled the gentle smile he always does smile, and he took Solomon Grundy into his arms. I have thinks he did see the tiredness that was in my arms. When he sat down on a log with the dear pig, I said I had fears Solomon Grundy was sick. He said he did too. But he smoothed my curls back and he said, "Don't you worry; he will get well." Hearing him say that made me have better feels. Men are such a comfort men that wear gray neckties and are kind to mice. One I know. He looks kind looks upon the forest and he does love the grand fir trees that do grow there. I have seen him stretch out his arms to them just like I do do in the cathedral. He does have kindness for the little folks that do live about the grand trees. His ways are ways of gentleness. All my friends have likes for him, and so had Solomon Grundy. To-day he said he would take Solomon Grundy back to camp by the mill to his bunk-house. A warming he did need, so he said, and he said he would wrap him in his blanket and take care of him until morningtime THE STORY OF OPAL 169 was come. Then he did go the way that goes to the far woods and I did go the way that does go to the cathedral. I so went to have a little thank service for the getting well of Solomon Grimdy. I do have knowings he will be well when morning- time is come. With me to the cathedral did go Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Brave Horatius. This morning before breakfast I did go to the cathedral to say thanks for the goodness of one William Wordsworth, for this is the day of his borning in 1770. With me did go Thomas Chatter- ton Jupiter Zeus. And Brave Horatius came a-fol- lowing after. After the morning's work was done, I took my little basket most full of christening robes to the pen-place near the hen-house where is Minerva and her fourteen baby chickens. One baby chicken did n't hatch. I had most enough christening robes ready on yesterday afternoon but one. When I did go to sing her baby to sleeps, Elsie did help me to fix that one while I did carry in some wood for her. She put a little ruffle of lace on it and a little blue bow of ribbon. It looked very nice. I did have thinks how nice they would look if all of the chris- tening robes for the baby chickens of Minerva did have little bows of ribbon on them. Elsie had asks what was my thoughts about, and I did tell her. And she did say she had thinks that way too. And she did make a go to her work- i yo THE STORY OF OPAL basket that was under the shelf where does set the bottle of vaseline that her young husband does smooth back his pumpadoor with. That vaseline jar is most empty again. When Elsie did find some little ribbons in her work-basket, she did go and raise up the trunk-lid and she did find some more little ribbons in the tray of the trunk. She tied them all into little bows. And some were pink and some were lavande and some were blue and some were rose. There was enough for every baby chicken to have one on his christening robe. And I did sew them all on at night-time on yester- day when the mamma did put me under the bed. Light enough came from the lamp on the kitchen table so I could have sees to sew them all on. When we was come near unto the cathedral, I made a stop to put on their christening-robes. Nicolas Boileau and Jean Moliere did have lavande ribbon bows on theirs. They waited waits in a corner of the basket while I did put on the others. Sir Walter Raleigh had a little pink bow on his. He would not keep still while I was getting him into his robes. He peeped three times. But Sir Francis Bacon was more fidgety than he was. It took quite a time to get his christening robe on. Ben Jonson did wear the christening robe with the ruffle of lace around it, and before I did get him put back in the basket there, he did catch his toe in that ruffle of lace. Then he peeped. I took his toe out of the ruffle, and put a christening robe with a rose ribbon THE STORY OF OPAL 171 bow on it on Francis Beaumont and one like it on John Fletcher, because their names was together in the book Angel Mother did write in. After I did get little brown Oliver Goldsmith and all the rest of the children of Minerva into their christening robes, then I did take out of my pocket her little white cap with the ruffles on it like the ruffles on the morning-cap of Jenny Strong. I tied it under Minerva's bill. She was a sweet picture in it coming down the cathedral aisle by my side. Minerva is a plump hen of gentle ways. It is not often she does talk, but she did chuckle all of the time while her baby chickens was getting chris- tened. Brave Horatius stood by the altar and Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil did sit on a log close by. And Mathilde Plantagenet watched from the pas- ture-bars. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thu- cydides did walk by my side when we went goes to have asks for the blessing of Saint Louis on all Minerva's baby chickens after they were chris- tened. Then I did sing"HosannainExcelsis." And Ben Jonson peeped and so did Francis Beaumont and Pius VII. He was wiggling so that his christen- ing robe was most off him. I put it on again. Then I did stop to straighten up Minerva's cap with the ruffles on it. It had had a slip-back. Then we had more prayers. Afterward we all did have goes back to the chicken-yard pen. I took off Minerva's cap so it would be clean for cathedral service on Sun- 1 72 THE STORY OF OPAL days. Then I put her and all her children back in their pen, after they did have their christening robes off. After I did give Minerva some good-bye pats and advkes about bringing up her children, then I did go goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. Me- nander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did walk by my side and Brave Horatius came a-following after. When I was come to the house of Sadie McKibben, there was Dear Love. They was glad we was come, and they had likes for Minerva's little cap with the ruffles around it like the morn- ing-cap of Jenny Strong. Dear Love did give Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus some pats on his nice white paws. And they did talk on. I did have hears of them saying of the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes, that is come again to visit her aunt of the gray calico dress with the black bow at its neck. I was glad she is come again. I whispered to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus about my glad feels in his left ear. He cuddled up more close. We listened more listens. Dear Love too did say to Sadie Mc- Kibben as how it is the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time has great love for the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes; and how it is he is afraid to speak to her about this great love he has for her. And more Dear Love did say of how it is he does pick bunches of flowers in the woods for her and then he does lay them by an THE STORY OF OPAL 173 old log because he has too shy feels to take them on to her. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did stick out his right front foot. I gave it a pat, and I did give him some throat rubs, that he had likes for, and all of the time I was having thinks. I looked looks out the side window of thehouseof SadieMcKibben. A white cloud was sailing in the sky. A little wind was in the woods. It was calling, "Petite Fran- coise, come, petite Francoise." I did tell Dear Love and Sadie McKibben there was needs for me to hurry away. They did have understanding, and Sadie McKibben did say it was not long I was stay- ing to-day, and she would wait waits for my return coming on the morrow. Dear Love did tell me of the pieces she did find in the top of her trunk that were waiting waits to be made into christening robes for little folks that now do have their borning-time. I was glad, for there is needs of more. After I did say good-bye, I went goes on to the woods. I did not follow the trail that does go to the moss-box where I do leave letters on leaves for the fairies. The wind was calling. I followed after it. It was not adown the path that does lead to the nursery. It was calling over logs in the way that does lead to where is that old log with the bunches of flowers by it and under its edges. They was the flowers that the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time did gather for the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes. Some of the 174 THE STORY OF OPAL bunches of flowers was all faded. It is days a long time since he did put them there, and it is only a little time since he did put the last ones there. I set down on the moss my basket that I did carry Minerva's baby chickens to christening in. Then I made begins. First I put some moss in the basket, then I did put in some of the bunches of flowers. I put in the most faded ones because they had been waiting waits the longest. Then we all did go in a hurry to the house of her aunt of the gray calico dress with the black bow at its neck. The aunt was not there, and we were glad; but the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes was there. She came to the door when we did tap upon its handle. I did tell her all in one breath that we was making begins to bring the flowers that the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time did gather for her on many days. We gave her explanations how it was too shy feels he had to bring them to her himself, so he did lay them by the old log. I told her as how it was we did bring the most faded ones first because they was waiting waits the longest; and she did take them all up in her arms. And I told her my dog's name was Brave Horatius and he was a fine dog, and that Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus was a most lovely wood-rat, and I held out his white paw for her to have feels of; but he did pull it back and cuddle his nose up close to my curls. I told her how it was he was shy, too, and when he had knows THE STORY OF OPAL 175 of her better he would let her pat his nice white paws. Then I did take my basket and go goes in a hurry back to get the flowers. I did carry the next most old ones to her. And she was glad for them. She was waiting waits for me on the steps of the house of her aunt of the gray calico dress with the black bow at its neck. She was ready to go back with us to the log where the flowers was; and there was joy-lights in her eyes. While we did go along, I did tell her more about the little animal and bird folks that do live in the woods and I did tell her about the great love the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time does have for her. Quietness was upon her, and we did walk on in a slow way. A beetle went across the path and a salal bush did nod itself to us. The wind made little soft whispers, and by-and-by we was come to the log. She did kneel down by it, and she looked looks for a long time at all the bunches of flowers. And I did say a little prayer and Thomas Chat- terton Jupiter Zeus did squeak a little squeak. I made counts of the bunches of flowers, and they were thirty-and-three. I saw a chipmunk, and I followed him after to see how many stripes he did have on his back and where was his home; and on the way I saw other birds and I followed them after on tiptoes to have sees where they were having goes to. And in the bushes there was a little nest with four eggs in it with speckles on them. I did have 176 THE STORY OF OPAL thinks there was needs for me to pick out names for the little birds that will hatch out of those eggs. This is a very busy world to live in. There is much needs for picking out names for things. I am very happy. I have been to the cathedral to pray again that the angels will bring a baby to Dear Love soon. CHAPTER XXIII How Opal and Brave Horatius Go on Explores and Visit the Hospital. How the Mamma Dyes Clothes and Opal Dyes Clementine. MY legs do feel some tired this eventime. I've been most everywhere to-day. I so have been going to tell the plant-folks and the flower-folks and the birds about this day being the going-away day of one William Shakespeare in 1616. Before yet breakfast-time was come, I did go to the cathedral to say prayers of thanks for all the writings he did write. With me did go Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Ju- piter Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil. When we were come again to the house, they did wait waits while I did go to do the morning works. After the morning works were done, I did put pieces of bread and butter in papers in my pockets for all of us. I put some milk in the bottle for Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. He was waiting waits for me by the pasture-bars. He is a most woolly lamb. He was glad for his break- fast and he was glad to have knows about this day. While I was telling them all there what day this is, Plutarch Demosthenes made a little jump onto a little stump. He looked a look about and made a jump-off. Sophocles Diogenes came a-following 178 THE STORY OF OPAL after. They both did make some more jumps. Their ways are ways of playfulness. They are dear lambs. While I was telling them all, Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did in some way get the nipple off his bottle, and the rest of the milk did spill itself out the bottle. I hid the bottle away by a rock. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did follow me after. He does follow me many wheres I do go to. We went all on. We saw fleurs and I did stop moments to have talks with them. I looked for other fleurs that I had longs to see. Everywhere that we did go I did look looks for teverin and yellow eclaire and pink mahonille and mauve and morgeline. When Brave Horatius had askings in his eyes for what I was looking, I did give to him explanations. He looked looks back at me from his gentle eyes. In his looks he did say, they are not hereabout. We went on. We went to foret d'Ermenonville and foret de Chantilly. We went adown Lounette to where it flows into Non- ette and we went on. Everywhere there were little whisperings of earth-voices. They all did say of the writes of William Shakespeare. And there were more talkings. I lay my ear close to the earth where the grasses grew close together. I did listen. The wind made ripples on the grass as it went over. There were voices from out the earth. And the things of their saying were the things of gladness of growing. And there was music. And in the music THE STORY OF OPAL 179 there was sky-twinkles and earth-tinkles. That was come of the joy of living. I have thinks all the grasses growing there did feel glad feels from the tips of their green arms to their toe roots in the ground. And Brave Horatius and the rest of us did n't get home until after supper-time. The folks was gone to the house of Elsie. I made a hunt for some supper for Brave Horatius. I found some and I put it in his special dish. Then I came again into the house to get some bread and milk. There was a jar of blackberry jam on the cook-table. It had interest looks. Just when I happened to be having all my fingers in the jar of blackberry-jam, there was rumblings of distress come from the back yard. I climbed onto the flour barrel and looked a look out the window. There near unto my chum's special supper-dish sat the pet crow with top- heavy appears. There was reasons for his forlorn looks, for Brave Horatius had advanced to the rear of Lars Porsena of Clusium and pulled out his tail-feathers. I have had no case like this before. I felt dis- turbs. I had not knowings what to do for it. I had some bandages and some mentholatum in my pocket. I took Lars Porsena of Clusium all that was left of him with his tail-feathers gone and I sat down on the steps. First I took some mentho- latum and put it on a piece of bandage. I put the piece of bandage onto Lars Porsena of Clusium 180 THE STORY OF OPAL where his tail-feathers did come out. Then I did take the long white bandage in the middle, and I did wrap it about Lars Porsena of Clusium from back to front in under his wings and twice on top, so the bandage would stay in place on the end of him where his tail-feathers came out. Then I did make a start to the hospital. I did have wonders how long the needs would be for Lars Porsena of Clusium to be there before his tail would grow well again. I only did have going a little way when I did meet with the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He looked a look at me and he looked a look at Lars Porsena of Clusium in my arms. Then he did have askings why was it Lars Porsena was in bandages. I told him explanations all about it. He pondered on the matter. Then he picked me and Lars Porsena up and set us down on a stump. He told me there was no needs for me to have wonders about how long the need would be for Lars Porsena of Clusium to be in the hospital with bandages on him. He did talk on in his gentle way of how it is birds that do lose their tail-feathers do grow them on again. He so said and I did have understanding. Then he did take up Lars Porsena of Clusium in his arms. And he unwrapped him from front to back and back to front. When the bandage was all off him, Lars Porsena of Clusium did give, himself a stretch and his wings a little shake. And I said a little prayer for his getting well and a new tail THE STORY OF OPAL 181 soon. And the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice said Amen. Then we came home. To-day was dyeing day. The mamma dyed. She dyed clothes old ones. First she washed them in the tub. Then she put them in the boiler on the stove. In the boiler was beautiful blue water. I know because I climbed on the stove-hearth and peeked in. The mamma did n't make this water blue with balls like she does the rench water for the clothes on wash-days. She made this water blue with stuff out of an envelope. I had sees of her tear its corner off, and the blue little specks came out of that envelope in a quick way. The specks so did come in a more hurry way when she did give the envelope some shakes. All the clothes the mamma did carry from the wash-tub to the boiler all those clothes was blue when she took them out; and afterwards the blue was yet with them and they hung upon the line. I see them quiver blue quivers when the wind blows. After she did hang them there on the line, the mamma did leave the boiler of dye-blue water on the stove. And she is gone goes to the house of her mother by the meeting of the roads. She told me to watch the house and let the fire go out. It so is gone a long time ago, and I keep watch. The blue water in the boiler has cold feels now. I stood upon the stove and I put my arm way down in it, and it was coldness. First I did only touch touches on the 1 82 THE STORY OF OPAL water with my finger. It was warmness then. That was just when the mamma did go. She is hours and hours gone now. I have been keeping watches of the house like she did say for me to do when she went away. And in-between times I have been reading reads in the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in. I have been screwtineyesing the spell of words. Now I am going to have dyeing day like the mamma did have on this morning. It is so much of fun to lift things up and down in blue water. On wash-days the mamma has me to do it much. She calls it rench- ing the clothes. When it's blue water in a boiler, it's dyeing them. I have been dyeing like the mamma dyed this morning. First I did dye the mamma's bag of blueing balls. That bag was getting pale looks. Next I did dip in the mamma's clothes-pin bag. It was brownness before. I have not sure feels yet what color it is going to be since it has had its dye. I took all the clothes-pins out first. Then I did give them all a dip. They did bob about in a funny way. I made whirls in the dye-blue water with my fingers, so the clothes-pins would make some more bobs. It was very nice, standing there on top the cook-stove watching the bobs they made in the boiler. Then I made a start to dye handles. First I dipped in the butcher-knife handle. Then I did give the dipper-handle a dip. I had carefuls to THE STORY OF OPAL 183 make it go only half-way. Then I did give the handle of the potato-masher a dip. And I gave the hammer-handle a dip in the dye-blue water. Clementine came in a walk up step on the back porch. She looked a look in. She is such a friendly Plymouth Rock hen. She walked right into our house and came in a hop up by the dye-blue water. She so does like my blue calico apron. She hops up on my knee when I sit down to talk to the chickens in the chicken park. I had thinks being as she has likes for my blue calico apron she would have likes for blue feathers; so I did give her a gentle dip in the dye-blue water and two more. She walked right out our front door without even a thank chuckle. I never had knows of her to do so before. The dye-blue water was waiting waits. Next I dipped the Plymouth Rock rooster in. He did object to being dyed blue. He was quite fidgety. I had decides not to coax any more folks from the chicken yard to get dyed blue feathers. I looked looks about the house we live in. I had seeing of a box of matches the mamma did leave on a chair in the bedroom. The mamma has said I must n't touch a box of matches on the cupboard shelf. And I don't. But she did n't say I must n't touch them when she leaves them on a chair. So I have took the box of matches and it has had its dip. It has a limp feel. I have put it on the back steps to get its form again. And all the matches that was in the box have had their dips in the dye- 1 84 THE STORY OF OPAL blue water. I have laid them in rows on the grass to have a dry. And now I do have thinks how nice it will be on next time when dyeing day is come if the mamma does have seeing as how I could be helps being as I now do have so much knowing of the ways of dyeing. I have thinks a big amount of helps I could be. Now while the things I have dyed do dry, I am going goes to the cathedral to have a long service there, for this is the borning day of Saint Louis in 1215. And many wheres there is needs for me to go to tell the plant-folk all about this being the day of his borning. And too it is the borning day of Oliver Cromwell in 1599, and the borning day of Padre Martini in 1706, and it is the going-away day of Torquato Tasso in 1595. The winds sing of these. And the great pine tree is saying a poem about this day. CHAPTER XXIV How the Mamma's Wish Came True, and how Opal was Spanked for it; and of the Likes which Aphrodite Had for a Clean Place to Live in. IN the morning of to-day, before I did eat my bowl of mush and milk for breakfast, I did go to the cathedral to say thank prayers for the good works of Leonardo da Vinci, for this is the day of his going away in 1519. When after-breakfast works was done, the mamma did have me to churn. While I did make the handle with the cross sticks on it go up and down in the churn, I did have hearing of the little glad songs all the fleurs were singing out in the field. When the butter was come, the mamma did take it out the churn. She put all the little yellow lumps in a wood bowl. Then she gave to them pats and more pats. When she got through patting the butter into its proper form, the mamma did throw the butter-paddle over on the cook-table. She said she hoped and wished that she would never see that butter-paddle again. She won't. After I heard her say that, I floated it away in the creek. It made a nice boat. It did sail along in a bobby way. I took Solomon Grundy with me. I just let him dabble his toes. When he is an older pig, he can wade right out into the creek with me. His eyes did look bright to-day while I was telling THE STORY OF OPAL 187 spanks. The back part of me does feel sore feels. I have thinks I will go and give geology lectures to the folks in the nursery, and too I will sing them lullaby songs and the bird and fleur chant de fete de grandpere of niverolle and ortolan and verdier and etourneau and nenujar and eclaire and ulmaire and fraxinelle. I so have gone goes, and the folks in the nursery was glad for food and songs. And afterwards I went more on into the woods. There was little whispers among the leaves. And there was a song in the tall fir tree-tops. And a pine tree was saying a poem. I listened listens. Then I went goes on. I saw a man coming. He did take long steps. When he was nearer come, I had seeing it was the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. I did go adown the path in a more quick way. He did have seeing of my coming. Then I did hide behind a tree. He came on. When he was near the tree he did say, " I thought I saw someone coming. Guess I was mistaken. I think I'll take these splints for the hospital back to the mill." When I did hear him say that, I ran in a quick way back to the path. He did n't see me. He was looking long looks away. Then I did give his coat- sleeve a gentle pull, and he did whistle, and he did ask me if there was needs for splints at the hospital. And I told him all in one breath how much needs there was. He had me to tell him all over again about the little chicken that did have its leg hurt. 1 88 THE STORY OF OPAL And I gave him explanations how it was Sir Fran- cis Bacon did have his leg hurt in a real bad way, and the big folks was going to kill him, but they gave him to me for my very own because he was n't any good any more. And the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did have understanding, and he went goes with me to the hospital that I do have for little hurt folks, at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. While I did hold little Sir Francis Bacon, the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did fix the splints on his hurt leg in a gentle way. Then I did pray prayers for his getting well soon. Brave Horatius did bark Amen and one of the most tall pine trees was saying a poem. After morning's works was done I was washing out clothes for the baby. I thought what a nice christening robe one of the baby's dresses would make for one of the newbabypigs. The mamma had not thoughts that way. When the dress was on the line, I did go by the chicken-yard to have sees how the children of Minerva are growing. Pius VII is getting some tail-feathers. He comes to feed from my hand every day, and he likes to go to school in my little basket. He has not been for a whole week now, because the last time I took him he peeped and teacher sent us home. Next day I took Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, and they was quiet. Last time I took them to cathedral service, Ben THE STORY OF OPAL 189 Jonson pecked Sir Walter Raleigh on the head. I said prayers over them for peace between them. Then I put one in a little box on one log and I put the other one in a little box on the other log. The boxes was alike. To-day I had sees of these two drinking out of the water-pan together. Peace was between them. She is a nice mother-hen that has got all her children growed up. And little Edmund Spenser was scratching for a worm near his little brown brother Oliver Goldsmith. And all Minerva's family was growing well. I felt satisfaction feels about it, and I sat down on a log to pick out names for the twins I am go- ing to have when I grow up. I picked out a goodly number of names, but I could not have decides which ones. I had thinks I would wait a little time, and I had remembers it was time for me to be making another portrait of Solomon Grundy. So I went around by the pig-pen to get Solomon Grundy. I said comfort words to Aphrodite. I told her how it was I was just taking Solomon Grundy to make a portrait of him, and as how I was going to make it in the same way and in the same place as I did make her portrait quite a time ago. She grunted a short grunt and then a long grunt. Sometimes it is difficult to understand pig talk. But her next grunt it was very plain. It was just an invitation to make Solomon Grundy's portrait there by her side, and no needs of taking him out of the pig-pen. 190 THE STORY OF OPAL I told her yes, I would make his portrait right there by her, and I did bring many brown bracken ferns after I did have the pig-pen cleaned out. Most every day I do give the pig-pen a rake-out, and bring some clean dirt from the garden. I have thinks pigs do have likes for clean places to live in. It brings more inspirations to their souls. And, too, every day Aphrodite does have likes for her feed- ing-trough to be scrubbed clean all over. And I have planted ferns and fleurs all around her pig- pen. It is a very nice place, with sweet smells of grass and fleurs. And Aphrodite was glad for the brushing I did give her to-day. I've got a brush a nice new brush a good new brush. It is for to brush my pig friends. They so do need brushings. This new brush the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did get for me last time he did go to the mill town. The pigs do like the feels the new brush does make upon their backs. The clean feels it does give to them are pleasant to their souls. After I did give her the brushing, I did get moss and cover the clean feed-trough with it. That made a nice place to sit and draw Solomon Grundy's portrait by his mother there. I drew him lying by her side. Then I had him to stand on his feet, and I drew one of him that way. I had it almost done. There was a little noise. It was the step of some- one going by. I had not knows who it was. I went on drawing Solomon Grundy's ears and his curly THE STORY OF OPAL 191 tail. Then I had knows what it was. It was that chore boy come to feed the pigs and he poured all that bucket of swill on top the moss and Solomon Grundy's portrait and me. The feels I did feel they was drippy ones. And I did have decides to make that other por- trait of Solomon Grundy another time. I said good-bye to Aphrodite. Then I went goes in a quick way to the singing creek where the willows grow, to get the swill-smells off. First I did wade out a little way. Then I sat down. The water came in a nice way up to my neck, and it went singing on. I gave my curls wash-offs, and I did listen to the song the creek was singing as it did go by. It was a song of the hills. Being up to my neck made the water sounds very near to my ears. I had likes for that. By-and-by I did have feels that I was clean again and I did have thinks I better go get some dry clothes on, because sitting there in the singing creek did make my clothes some wet. When I was come to the house we live in, the mamma was gone to the house of Elsie, so I did go in. First I did give my clothes some wring-outs by the steps, so the water would not have drips on the kitchen floor, for the mamma has likes to keep her house very clean. When I did have dry clothes on me, I did go to hang the wet ones on bushes in the woods to dry. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went with me. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil rode in one of my apron 192 THE STORY OF OPAL pockets and Felix Mendelssohn rode in the other one. And Louis II, le Grand Conde, did have rides in my sleeve. We was all very glad. As we went along, I had seeings the strings I have put on the bushes for the birds was gone. We went on and on some more. I did have looks about. I did have seeing of little wood-folks going their ways. I watched their little moves and I had seeing of what color they was. I made stops to tell them about this being the borning day of Linnaeus in 1707, and the going-away day of Georges Cuvier in 1832. We went on. All things was glad. The winds did sing. The leaves did sing. The grasses talked in whispers all along the way. I have thinks they were saying, "Petite Francoise, Pete approche Pete approche." I did have hearings to all they were so saying, as I did go along. And the little birdlings in their cradles were calling for more to eat. And I did make a stop to watch the mother- birds and father-birds in their comings and goings. Now are busy times. CHAPTER XXV Of Many Washings and a Walk. TO-DAY I did take Mathilde Plantagenet to visit the girl that has no seeing. I did tell her I would so bring Mathilde Plantagenet, and she did have joy feels when she did have thinks about Mathilde Plantagenet coming to visit her. Before we did start, I did give Mathilde Plantagenet a good foot- bath, as Sadie McKibben does always take one before she goes a-visiting. Then I did wash the neck and ears of Mathilde Plantagenet in a careful way. It took four Castoria-bottles full of water to do so. I have had a big problem. That's what Sadie McKibben says when she has had a difficulty of managing. My big problem was what to carry water in when I go to make prepares to give my pets foot-baths and neck-and-ear washes. I have tried thimbles to use for wash-pans when I do wash the hands of my pets, but thimbles hold not enough of water. Often and often again there is needs to go for more water when one does use thimblefuls at a time. Sometimes now I do use a mentholatum jar. It holds more water than does a thimble, but mostly now I do carry Castoria bottles full of water when I start on my way to wash the neck and ears of my animal friends. Sadie McKibben has gave me advice and a lard-bucket to carry those Cas- toria bottles full of water in. i 9 4 THE STORY OF OPAL After I so did have Mathilde Plantagenet washed then I did dry her neck and ears with the soft salt- sack towel that Sadie McKibben has gave to me. After I did have her neck and ears washed and her hair rubbed down in the way it does go, I did give her a little lump of salt. She liked that. Then I tied the little rope around her neck that I do lead her by, and we made starts to go visit the girl that has no seeing. When we were come to her gate, I did open it and Mathilde Plantagenet and I went down the path to her door. Mathilde Plantagenet went around with me to the window where I do tap taps so she will have knows I am come. She did rub the nose of Mathilde Plantagenet. And she was so glad to see her. She straightway did go to bring her a salt-lump. But I told her Mathilde Plantagenent did just have a salt-lump after her foot-bath. And I did give her explainings as how I thought one salt-lump a day is enough for Ma- thilde Plantagenet while she is yet so young. When she is older grown she may have two salt-lumps in one day. Then the girl that has no seeing did give me the salt-lump for her to have to-morrow. She has thinks like my thinks that there is music in the moos of Mathilde Plantagenet. And she had asks how was the dear baby of Elsie's. And I told her as how I thought it would have two tooths soon, and she said that would be interest. I had thinks so too. I told her the mamma's nice baby has a lot of tooths. It's had them quite a time long, and so has Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. THE STORY OF OPAL 195 Then we all did go for a walk. With my right hand I did lead the girl who has no seeing. With my left hand I did lead Mathilde Plantagenet. And Brave Horatius came a-following after. As we did go along, we did have listens to the voices of the trees and grass. The girl that has no seeing is learning to have hearing of what the grasses say and of the waters of the brooks that tell the hill songs. Too, she is learning to see things. She shuts her eyes when I shut mine. We go on journeys together. We ride in a cloud in a fleecy white one that does sail away over the hills. We look down on beautiful earth, and we see Nonette and Iraouaddy and Launette and foret d'Ermenonville and Aunette and foret de Chantilly and Saint Firmin. To-day, after we did have our eyes shut for quite a time long, I did open mine just a little bit to have seeing how big that bee was that was making such a buzz. He was quite a big bee and he was in a hurry. When he did go on, the girl who has no see- ing did have asks when was I going to bring Menan- der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides to visit her. She said she had thinks he must be a bigger lamb now with me giving him his bottle of milk morning and eventime. I said he was growing more big a little bit. He is a very dear lamb. Then she had askings when was Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil coming to visit her. And she had wants to know when was Lars Porsena of Clusium coming again. I did have 196 THE STORY OF OPAL thinks about it and I did tell her we would all come to visit her on the fourth day from the day that is now. And I did sing her the song of fleurs: of tante, of myosotis, aubepine, romarin, gentiane, ulmaire, eglantier, rosagine, iris, tulipe and eclaire. And we came home, and before we were yet to the house we live in, we did make a stop at the cathedral for prayers, and "Hosanna in excelsis." CHAPTER XXVI Why it Was that the Girl who Has no Seeing Was not at Home when Opal Called. Now is the fourth day come. And we are going goes to the house of the girl who has no seeing. All the morning hours there was works to do to help the mamma. Afternoon is now come and we go. We did. First I did make begins to get us all together. Brave Horatius was waiting by the back steps. Lars Porsena of Clusium was near unto him. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil was under the front doorstep. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus was back of the house in his home of sticks that he does have likes for. I did help Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to build that home. I had sees in the woods of how other wood-rats do have their houses builded of sticks and some sticks and some more sticks. To-day, when I did squeak calls for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to come out of his house, he did come out, and he did crawl up on my shoulder and cuddle his nose up close to my curls. We made a start. We went by the nursery to get Nannerl Mozart. We went on. Menander Eu- ripides Theocritus Thucydides was playing close by the pasture-bars. He is a very jumpy lamb. He did jump a long jump to meet us to-day, and his tail did wiggle more wiggles. We went adown the i 9 8 THE STORY OF OPAL lane. We made a stop to get Solomon Grundy, and his little sister Anthonya Mundy, that has not got as much curl in her tail as Solomon Grundy. We went out along the road. They were a sweet pic- ture. I made a stop to look at them all some running ahead and some behind. They all did wear their pink ribbons that the fairies did bring. Solo- mon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy and Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides all did wear di- vides of the ribbon that was the ribbon that dear William Shakespeare used to wear. And they all did have joy feels as they had knows they were going on a visit to visit the girl that has no seeing. She has love for them. And we did go in a hurry on. I did feel a big amount of satisfaction that I have such a nice family. Lars Porsena of Clusium did ride most of the way on the back of Brave Horatius. His appears are not what they were before he did lose his tail- feathers. I am praying prayers every day for him to get a new tail soon. When we were all come near to the house of the girl that has no seeing, we did walk right up to the door. And I stepped three steps back and three hops over and three steps up to the door, so she would have knows we was come. We had knows only she would be there because this day is the going-to-town day of her people. I stepped more steps. Brave Horatius barked more barks for her coming. And Solomon Grundy squealed his most nice baby-pig squeal. We did THE STORY OF OPAL 199 listen listens. She had not coming to the door. I sat on the steps to wait waits. I so did for some time long. While we did have waits, I did sing to Brave Horatius and Solomon Grundy and all of them songs of Nonette and Iraouaddy and more songs Angel Father did teach me to sing of birds of oncle what did have going away, of roitelet, ortolan, bruant, epervier, rousserolle, tourterelle, farlouse, ramier, aigle, nonnette, chardonneret, orfraie, ibis, rossignol, loriot, ortolan, ibis, sansonnet, pinson, hi- rondelle, ibis, lanier, ibis, pic, pivoine, epeiche,faisan, etourneau, roitelet, draine, ibis, nonnette, aigle, nive- rolle, durbec, aigle, roitelet, ibis, etourneau, draine, ortolan, roitelet, loriot, emerillon, aigle, niverolle, sar- celle. All my pets do have likes for those songs. To-day Brave Horatius did bark a bark when I was done and Solomon Grundy did squeal his baby- pig squeal again. I had wonders why she did not come. After by-and-by I did go sit on the gate-post to wait waits. It was a long time. A man on a horse went by. Another man went by. He had asks what for was I sitting on the gate-post. I did tell him I was waiting waits for the coming of the girl that has no seeing. He did look away off to the hills. Then he started to say something but he swallowed it. He looked off to the hills again. Then he did say, "Child, she won't come back. She is gone to the graveyard." I did smile a sorry smile upon him because I had 200 THE STORY OF OPAL knows he did n't know what he was talking about when he did say she won't come back. It is not often she goes anywhere, and when she does, she always does come back. I told him I knew she would comeback. I waited some more waits. Then it was time for my pets to be going back because it would not do for the chore boy not to find Solomon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy in the pig-pen. I will go goes again to-morrow to see the girl that has no seeing, for I have knows she will come again home to-night in starlight-time. When Solomon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy did have their pink ribbons off and was again in the pig-pen, the rest of us did have going to the cathedral for songs and prayers. I did pray that the girl that has no seeing may not stub her toe and fall when she comes home to-night by starlight- time. And Brave Horatius did bark Amen. Early on this morning I went again to the house of the girl who has no seeing. There were little singings everywhere sky and hills and the wil- lows were whispering little whispers by Nonette. I went in a quick way down along the lane and in along the fields, until I was come near unto her house. I cuddled Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus more close in my arms, and I tiptoed on the grass. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did make little jumps beside me. And Brave Horatius came a-following after. THE STORY OF OPAL 201 I made a stop by the window that I always do make stops by and I rapped six raps on the window- pane. Six raps means "Come on out we are come." I had no hears of her steps a-coming like they always do. I put my hands above my eyes so I could see inside the window. She was not there. Nobody was. I did tap six more raps. She did not come. I went on around by the lilac bush. I crawled in under it to wait waits for her coming. Two men were talking by the fence. One did say, "It is better so." I had wonders what did he mean. The other man did say, "A pit tea it was she could n't have had a little sight to see that brush-fire ahead." And I had hears of the other one say, "Probably the smell of the smoke caused her worry about the fire coming to the house, and probably she was trying to find out where it was when she walked right into it." And the other man did have asks if she was con chus after. And the other one did say, "Yes." I listened more listens to their queer talk. I had wonders what did it all mean. Another man did come in the gate. He came to where they was. He put his hand on a fence-post. There was a green caterpillar close by him on a bush, but he had not seeing of it. He did begin to talk. First thing he said was, "When Jim went by here last even, that child was sitting on the gate-post. She was waiting for her to come back." He said more; he said, 202 THE STORY OF OPAL "Jim told her she was gone to the graveyard, but she said she knew she would come back." Why, that was what I told that man. It all did sound queer. I heard them say some more. Then I had understanding. I had knows then it was the girl that has no seeing they was having talks about, because I was waiting waits for her on yesterday when the man did tell me that. I felt queerness in my throat and I could n't see either. I could n't see the green caterpillar on the leaf by the man that said it. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus had looks like a gray cloud in my arms. More the men said. They talked it all over again. They said she smelled the smoke of the brush-fire, and not having sees of it, she did walk right into it and all her clothes did have fire; and then she ran, and her running did make the fire to burn her more and she stubbed her toe and fell. She fell in a place where there was mud and water. She was rolling in it when they found her. And all the fire- pains that was did make her moan moans until hours after, when she died. They say she died. And I could n't see Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus or Brave Horatius or anything then. When after a while I did come again the way that goes to the house we live in, I did have sees of the little fleurs along the way that she so did love. I have thinks they were having longings for her presence. And I so was too. But I do have thinks her soul will come again to the woods. And she THE STORY OF OPAL 203 will have sees of the blooming of the fleurs in the field she has loves for. I go now to write a message on a leaf for her like I do to Angel Father and Angel Mother. I will put one by the ferns, and I will tie one to a branch of the singing fir tree. And I will pray that the angels may find them when they come a-walking in the woods. Then they will carry them up to her in heaven there. CHAPTER XXVII Of a Cathedral Service in the Pig-Pen. How the World Looks from a Man's Shoulder. IN the morning of to-day, being as I could not get the fence down about the pig-pen so Aphrodite could get out to go to service in the cathedral, I did have decides to have cathedral service in the pig- pen. I brought large pieces of moss and lovely ferns. I got a wood-box so Brave Horatius could get in. After he was in the pig-pen, I did use the box for an altar. I lay moss upon it and ferns about it. While I was fixing it Lars Porsena did perch on my shoulder and he stayed there for service. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus nestled by my side. Solo- mon Grundy and Anthonya Mundy, who has n't as much curl in her tail as Solomon Grundy these lay by their mother Aphrodite and me and all the other little pigs. I sat on a board and Clementine did perch on the edge of the feeding-trough. In its middle was her sister hen Andromeda. Felix Men- delssohn did snuggle up in my right apron pocket. And in the left apron pocket was that lovely toad, Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil. After some long time, when we all did get settled down to quietness, I did start service. It took a long time to get quietness because the dear folks THE STORY OF OPAL 205 were n't used to having cathedral service in the pig-pen. After the third hymn I did preach the morning sermon. I did choose for my text: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills." I had to peek through the pig-pen fence to do it, for it did have more tallness than I did have. I lifted most all the congregation up to have a peek. I did lift them one at a time. And so they saw and lifted up their eyes unto the hills, but most of them did n't. They looked in different ways. Some saw God's good- ness in the grass and some did see it in the trees, and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus did not have seeing for more than for the piece of cheese I did have hid in my sleeve for him. He gave his cheese squeak. I gave him a nibble. Then we had prayers. Rain is come some more. It came all night. And earth is damp again and things grow more in the garden. Some things grow very fast. Weeds so do. When the rain did stop having come-downs on this morning, then the mamma did have me to hoe in between the rows of things that do grow in the garden. As I did go along, I did have talks with these folks that grow in the garden there. I did tell them little poems. And I did sing to them little songs. As I did go along between the rows, Brave Horatius did follow after. I had thinks about the things growing there. I wonder if I would get roots like the plants in the garden, if I planted my feet some inches in the soil and did keep still quite 206 THE STORY OF OPAL a time long. I have thinks I will try it some day and find out. As I did go on, I did have sees there were earth- worms on the window-panes over the young cab- bage-plants. The grown-ups say the earthworms rained down. They are mistaken. Those earth- worms crawled up. I Ve watched them do it. They were about in many places. I have been learning things about earthworms. I think being an earth- worm must be an interesting life. I wonder how it feels to stretch out long and then get short again. I went goes on, to pull weeds by the bean-folks. I went back some steps to look looks at them. Those bean-folks in the garden are such climbers. Their thoughts reach up toward the sky. And they climb up on the poles we put in the garden there. By-and-by I saw another earthworm. He was alone. I did have sees of his movements. I always do see more earthworms after rain. This one was making himself very long. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil, too, did have seeing of that earthworm. I made a stop to see what he was going to do about it. I did see. He did walk walks around that earth- worm. Then he did take it in a quick way. It was a very big earthworm, and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil did have needs to use his hands to stuff it down his throat. The earthworm made wiggles, and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil gave it pushes down his throat. In afternoon-time, when other works was done, THE STORY OF OPAL 207 I did take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Felix Mendelssohn and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil with me, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, did have rides in my sleeve. We went goes to the barn. I made a stop to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. Then I did go in to play on the hay. I had hearing of sounds in the stall below. I slid a slide down into the manger of that stall. There was someone I have never had sees of before. He had big eyes and a velvet nose, and he was brownish. When I did land in his manger there, he did look afraid looks. But I just sat quiet in the corner of the manger and reached out handfuls of hay to him. I have knows he is that new saw rel horse I have heard the grandpa at the ranch-house say he was going to get. And now he is got. I have likes for him. I told him a poem and I did sing him a song of fleurs de tante, of myosotis et anemone et roma- rin et iris et eclaire. He did have likes for that song, and the bunches of hay I did hold out to him. And this being the going-away day of Savonarola in 1498, 1 have give this new saw rel horse for name Girolamo Savonarola. I did tell him his name while I did give him more pats on his velvet nose. I have likes for him. On yesterday the coffee-pot tipped over on Harold. He had pains worse than when the baby has colic. Elsie puts oil on him. When she puts the oil on him, some of his cries go under the 208 THE STORY OF OPAL floor and we do not hear them any more. I feel I have needs of that oil in my hospital. Three times on this morning I have been on goes to the house of Elsie to have asks if he is growing well. She says his feels are better the oil does make them so. And I yet have more thinks then there is needs of oil like that oil in my hospital. When I was coming back from the house of Elsie I did look looks about as I did go along. I saw a piece of bark. I did turn it over with care. There were ants. I made a set-down to watch them. Some ants did carry bundles with queer looks. Big Jud at school says they are ant eggs. I have not thinks so. They be too big for ant eggs and I have remembers that Angel Father did call them nymphes de fourmis. When I was come to the house we live in, there was Lars Porsena of Clusium walking about on the clean tablecloth that has been put on for company. And there he was tracking crow-tracks in jam all over it. I picked him up and the mamma picked me up, and right away she did spank me for his doing it. The time it did take to wash that table- cloth was quite a time long. I made little rubs on it where was the jam-tracks of Lars Porsena of Clusium. When they was all come out, and it had clean looks that did suit the feels of the mamma, then she did tell us to get out of her way. We did. We went to the woods and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went with us. When we THE STORY OF OPAL 209 were come to the great fir tree, I did say a prayer. We went on. A little way we went. Then I made a stop to print a message on a leaf, for the soul of the girl that has no seeing. I had wants to tie it on a limb of a tree that I could not reach up to, and there was no tree fallen against it. While I did stand close by it, the man that wears gray neck- ties and is kind to mice did come that way by. When he saw me in meditation by that tree, he did ask me what I wanted. I told him I did have needs of being up in that tree. He did set me on his shoulder. From there I could reach the tree-arm that was most near earth. But before I did climb onto the limb from his shoulder I did take long looks about in three straight ways and four corner ways. One does get such a good view of life from a man's shoulder. One feels so much more tall. I saw a mouse run under a log. I saw a mother-bird come to her babies. I saw a toad by an old gray rock. I saw a caterpillar on a bush close by. I saw a squir- rel on a tree beyond the next bush. Then I did climb up into the tree, and I tied the leaf with the message on it out far on a limb high up, so the angels would have sees of it when they went flying by and carry it up to her in heaven there. Afterwards I did go to the house of Sadie Mc- Kibben. Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus went goes with me. Sadie McKibben has a new back-comb. She did have me 210 THE STORY OF OPAL put it in her hair for the first time it so is in. It has crinkles on its back and it does hold her hair up from her neck in a nice way. Sometimes Sadie McKibben does let me help her to do up her hair. I have satisfaction feels that I can be of helps. I do roll her hair in a roll on top of her head. It makes loop looks where some hairs want not to be in the roll on top of her head. Then I do put the hairpins in, to make them look like a water-wheel that the chore boy does build in the brook. But all the times I do put Sadie McKibben's hairpins in like a water-wheel, her hair, it does not stay up long. Then she does smile a smile and give her hair a quick roll. She sticks the hairpins in tight. Her hair, it does stay up. She so did to-day. And when we came away she did give me a kiss on both my cheeks and one on my nose. I have glad feels that she does remember about the nose. After I was come home I did bring the wood in and set the table. Then I made a start to go to the ranch-house to get the milk. On the way along I heard a little lamb bleating. It was crying for its mother. I went to look for it. I left the path. I went to the pasture up by the woods. When I got there the little lamb seemed to be away back in the woods. I set the milk-pail down and ran. I ran quick. There were long gray shadows in the woods. I felt their soft fingers touch my cheeks. I ran on. The little lamb had stopped crying. I heard it bleat no more. Where last time it did cry, there was only THE STORY OF OPAL 211 the husband of Sadie McKibben sitting on a log. I have thinks the wee lamb did find its mother. So I came back again. And the time was not long until I did have the milk brought to the house we live in. Afterwards in gray-light time I did go to the cathedral. And with me went Brave Horatius and most all the others. We did have service and I did sing and say thank prayers for the goodness of Gregoire VII. It was on this day in 1085 it was then he did have going away. And this eventime there was a song in the tree-tops at the cathedral. I have thinks it was a song of his goodness. CHAPTER XXVIII How Opal Piped with Reeds, and what a Good Time Dear Love Gave Thomas Chatter ton Jupiter Zeus. VERY early in the morning of to-day I did get out of my bed and I did get dressed in a quick way. Then I climbed out the window of the house we live in. The sun was up and the birds were singing. I went my way. As I did go, I did have hearing of many voices. They were the voices of earth glad for the spring. They did say what they had to say in the growing grass and in the leaves growing out from tips of branches. The birds did have knowing, and sang what the grasses and leaves did say of the gladness of living. I, too, did feel glad feels from my toes to my curls. I went down by the swamp; I went there to get reeds. There I saw a black bird with red upon his wings. He was going in among the rushes. I made a stop to watch him. I have thinks to-morrow I must be going in among the rushes where he did go. I shall pull off my shoes and stockings first, for mud is there and there is water. I like to go in among the rushes where the black birds with red upon their wings do go. I like to touch finger-tips with the rushes. I like to listen to the voices that whisper in the swamp, and I do so like to feel the mud ooze up between my toes. Mud has so much of interest in it slippery feels and sometimes little THE STORY OF OPAL 213 seeds that some day will grow into plant-folk if they do get the right chance. And some were so growing this morning. And more were making begins. I did have seeing of them while I was look- ing looks about for reeds. With the reeds I did find there I did go a-piping. I went adown the creek and out across the field and in along the lane. Every stump I did come to I did climb upon. By-and-by I was come near unto the house we live in. I thought it would be nice to go adown the path and pipe a forest song to the mamma of the gladness of the spring. When the mamma met me piping in the path, she did turn me about to the way that does lead to the house we live in. She so did with switches. She made me to stop piping the song of the forest, but it did n't go out of my heart. When we was come into the house, the mamma did tell me works to do, and then she went with the little girl and the baby and some lace she was mak- ing for a skirt for the baby, all to the house of Elsie. I did make begins on the works. I like to be helps to the mamma. I like to sing while I have works to do. It does so help. After I did scrub the steps and empty the ashes and fill the wood-box and give the baby's clothes some washes, all as the mamma did say for me to do, then I made pre- pares to take Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to visit Dear Love. She has kind thoughts of him, and it is four whole days since she has seen him. 2i 4 THE STORY OF OPAL First I brought out his nice pink ribbon that the fairies did bring to him. I hung it on a branch of willow. Then I did sit down. I had only a half a Castoria bottle full of warm water, so I did have needs to be careful in the use of it. First I did wash his beautiful white paws. I dried them on my apron as I did forget to bring his little towel. Dear Love made that little towel for him. It is like her big bath-towel. And she marked his initials on it with red ink like Big Jud has a bottle of at school. She put a dot after each letter. It is T. C. J. Z. on his bath-towel. When I do have thinks about that nice little bath-towel of his, I do give his paws a wash, and if I have not the towel with me, I do dry them with my apron. So I did to-day, and we did go our way to the little house of Dear Love, by the mill by the far woods. In our going we went among the great trees along little paths between tall ferns, and we went over logs. When we were come near unto the house of Dear Love, she did come to meet us. She gave me two kisses, one on each cheek, and one on the nose. She so does every time now since that day when she did give me one on each cheek and I did tell her Sadie McKibben does give me one on the nose, too. She was so glad to see Thomas Chat- terton Jupiter Zeus. We had a very nice visit. We did sit on an old log under a big tree, and there was some vines growing by that log, and we did have talks. I did tell her how I was praying on every THE STORY OF OPAL 215 day for her baby to come real soon. And we did see a chipmunk that has some nice stripes on its back, and I told her I was putting it into my prayer for the angels to bring a baby brush with blue fleurs on it, and a cradle-quilt with a blue bow on it, when they do bring her baby, because I did have thinks a blue fleur on its baby brush and a blue bow on its cradle-quilt would look nicer witn its red hair than pink ones would look. And she had thinks like my thinks, and we saw a caterpillar. Some caterpillars grow into butterflies. All cater- pillars do not. Some grow into moths. When I was coming my way home through the far woods, from the house of Dear Love, I saw more chipmunks and I saw her husband. He was fixing a log. His hat it was not on him. It was on a stump a little way away. He was most busy. His sleeves were up in a roll unto his arms' middle. He made bends over as he did work at that log. A little fern by his foot had its growing up to the fringes on the legs of his overalls. The sun did come in between the grand trees, and it did shine upon his head. I so do like to see the sun shine upon the hair of the husband of Dear Love. I kept most still as I did go along, and I did look looks back. The sunbeams yet did shine upon his head. When I did come more near unto the house we do live in, I did see a squirrel in a chene tree. He was a lovely gray squirrel. I came more near unto the tree. I looked more looks at that gray squirrel 2i6 THE STORY OF OPAL sitting out on a limb. His tail was very bushy. It had many, many hairs on it. I did look at his tail and I did look at the tail of my beautiful Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. The hairs he does have on his tail they are not so many as are the hairs on the tail of that big gray squirrel. When I did look looks from his tail to the tail of my dear Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, I did have some wishes that there was as many hairs on his tail as are on the tail of that gray squirrel. While I so did think, Thomas Chatterton Jupi- ter Zeus did nestle more close in my arms, and I was glad for him as he is. He is so lovely and his ways are ways of gentleness. We went on along the dim trail. There by the dim trail grow the honeysuckles. I nod to them as I go that way. In the daytime I hear them talk with sunbeams and the wind. They talk in shadows with the little people of the sun. And this I have learned grown-ups do not know the language of shadows. Angel Mother and Angel Father did know, and they taught me. I wish they were here now here to listen with me. I do so want them. Sometimes they do seem near. I have thinks sometimes kind God just opens the gates of heaven and lets them come out to be guardian angels for a little while. I wonder if honeysuckles grow about the gates of heaven. I've heard they are made of precious jewels. I have thinks there will be flowers growing all about. Probably God brought the seed from THE STORY OF OPAL 217 heaven when he did plant the flowers here on earth. Too, I do think when angels bring babies from heaven to folks that live here below, they do also bring seeds of flowers and do scatter them about. I have thinks that they do this so the babies may hear the voices of the loving flowers and grow in the way of God. CHAPTER XXIX How Opal Feels the Heat of the Sun, and Decorates a Goodly Number of the White Poker-Chips of the Chore Boy, TO-DAY I did n't get to finish the exploration trip over the river, because just as I was starting around the house-corner, after I did do my morning work early, the mamma grabbed me. She did tie me to the wood-shed corner with a piece of clothes- line. So we couldn 't play together, she did tie to another corner that very wise crow Lars Porsena of Clusium. To the corner beyond the next corner, to the corner that was the most longways off, she did tie him. But we played peek-a-boo around the middle corner. I'd lean just as far over as I could with the rope a-pulling back my arms. Real quick, I'd stretch my neck and peek and nod to Lars Porsena of Clusium. Then he of Clusium would flutter and say, "How-do-you-do," in squeaky crow tones. The day was growing warm. When it grew awful hot my arms did have feelings too sore to lean over any more. I sat down by the wood-shed wall and I did watch the passers-by. First went along Clementine, the Plymouth Rock hen. Then along stepped Napoleon, the Rhode Island red rooster. By and-by I did hear Solomon Grundy squealing in the pig-pen. Then a butterfly did rest on the THE STORY OF OPAL 219 handle of the pump where I did have longings to be. The wee mother hummingbird never left her nest on the lower oak limb. I could see her bill. I did have hopes Brave Horatius would come marching by. I called and I did hear his whine afar off. Then I knew he was tied up too. Another Plymouth Rock hen came walking by. Over in the shade by the old root was a canard. He did have a sleepy look. And I did have a sleepy feel. I looked a short look at the sky. A merle was flying over. I looked looks a-far off when I did look near. The old black cat sat on the doorstep. He had a saucer of milk, and then he did wash his face. I would have been partly glad if he did come over to see me. But I have n't made up with him since he did catch the baby robin. I forgot the cat when a snake did crawl around the stump, one with stripes on it. I did have thinks it might at least have come nearer, that I might count the stripes on its back. But it did go under the house. A grasshopper came hopping along. I stuck out my foot and he did hop over it. Through the slats of the chicken-coop I could see the mother hen with her young ducklings. I did have longings to cuddle them in my apron and I did want to take them down to the brook. I was having very sad feels. The sun got hotter and hotter. And pretty soon I did have queer feels in the head and the middle. Then my nose did begin to bleed. I felt all choked up and sticky. And every time I gave my head a 220 THE STORY OF OPAL shake to get a good breath, my curls did get mixed up with the nose-bleed. Pretty soon the mamma passing by did see my apron with blood upon it and she untied me. After she did souse me in the tub under the pump I felt better. My arms did tingle where the rope was tied. After that I went to bed, and near suppertime the mamma did call me to wash the stockings of the baby and the stockings of the other little girl. I had needs to climb upon a stump to hang the stockings out to dry. Then I set the table. While I was carrying in the wood, I did crawl under the house to find the snake with the stripes on his back; but he was n't there, so I don't know how many stripes he did have on his back. When the wood was all stacked up in the wood-box and the kin- dling under the stove, the mamma did say I might take the ducklings to the brook. That did make me very happy. All the way to the brook I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus, Te Deum laudamus." There was rosee on the verdure everywhere this morning, and the sunbeams made all the drops to shine. And there was glory and gladness every- where. When I did look upon it, I did have thinks to go explores down along Nonette and into the foret de Chantilly. But the mamma had not thinks like my thinks. She did tell me of the many works she did have for me to do, and I did go to do them. THE STORY OF OPAL 221 But as I did go about to do them, I did have thinks about the appears with rosee on them of the things that grow where Nonette flows. After the morning works was done, the mamma did have me to mind the baby while she was making it a dress. While I did mind the baby and while the mamma was making a dress for the baby, I made out of the piece what was left a christening robe. I made it for a young rooster. It is n't the first one I have made for him. But all the others he has got too big to wear, and I have n't been able to catch him yet. A little time before I did eat my bowl of bread and milk it was a little time before noontime the mamma did take the little girl and the baby and the dress she was making for the baby, and they all did go to the house of her mother. She did have me to help her to take them, and when they were come to the door of the house of her mother, I did come again home. When I did eat my bowl of bread and milk, I did have thinks I would make portraits of the folks in the pasture and pig-pen this afternoon. I did have decides to begin their portraits, and afterwards on other days I will do more works on them. I did make ready to go. I put more wood in the wood- box so it would be full when the mamma came home. Then I put four white poker-chips in my apron pocket one is for the portrait of the gentle Jersey cow. I will have to draw her head in a small 222 THE STORY OF OPAL way, so the horns can go in the picture too. I have thinks that the people who made poker-chips ought to have made them with more bigness, so there would be more room to put horns on the cows' pictures that one does draw on poker-chips. One of the other three poker-chips I did put into my apron pocket is to draw Aphrodite's portrait on. And one of them is to draw Elizabeth Barrett Browning's picture on. And one is for someone else that does live in the pasture. Now I go. When I did get these pictures made, I did take them to a log in the near woods that has got a hollow place in it. There is room in this log for me to take naps in on rainy days, and in this log I do keep the white poker-chips with pictures on them. In this log I do have a goodly number of white poker-chips in rows, with portraits on them of the animal folks that do dwell here about. All my chums' pictures are there. There are five of Ma- thilde Plantagenet on three poker-chips. And there are seven of William Shakespeare that I did draw in automne and hiver time. And, too, there are six of dear Peter Paul Rubens that was. And now four more portraits did go in the rows to-day. There are nine more white poker-chips in a little pile under the root of a stump close by the old log. These nine white poker-chips are waiting waits to have portraits made on them. When I do get portraits made on most all the white poker- chips I do have, then one of the logging men at the THE STORY OF OPAL 223 mill by the far woods does give me more white poker-chips to draw more pictures of Aphrodite and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and all of us on. The chore boy does have objects to my drawing pictures on his poker-chips that he does hide in the barn. It was one day when I was walking around exploring in the barn and singing songs to William Shakespeare and the gentle Jersey cow on that day, and then I did find the poker-chips of the chore boy where he did hide them away. I had not knows whose they were, but the white ones all did lay there in a heap having askings for pictures to be drawn on them. So I did take some of them and I did make portraits of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and Brave Horatius. Then I did put them back in their places again. The day that was after that, I did take some more and I did make portraits on them. On them I did make portraits of Lars Porsena of Clusium and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and Nannerl Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. Then I did carry them back to their place in the barn. They did look satisfaction looks there in that corner with por- traits on them. Then next day, when I was going down our lane by the barn, the chore boy did come by the gate. When I came through, he did give my curls a pull. He did say in a cross way, " What for did you mark up my nice poker-chips with your old pictures?" Then I did have knows they were his poker-chips 224 THE STORY OF OPAL there in the barn. I did tell him the white ones had wants to have portraits on them and it was to give them what they had wants for. I told him he better draw pictures on what white ones was left that did not have pictures on. I had thinks they would be lonesome. But the chore boy did not have thinks like my thinks. He said he had more knows what poker- chips want than I have thinks. He says poker-chips want to be on a table in a game with men. I have thinks he has not knows what he is talking about. I have knows white poker-chips do have wants for portraits to be drawn on them portraits of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Brave Hora- tius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and all the rest. After I did put the four new portraits in the old log, I did follow a path that leads to a path that leads to a path that goes to the house of Elsie. I so went because I did have a little longing to rock again the baby's cradle. Elsie was making for her young husband a whipped-cream cake. He has such a fondness for them. And she does make them for him as often as there is cream enough. She was stirring things together in the most big yellow bowl. She did stir them in a quick way. While she so did, the baby did have a wake-up. She said I might rock it in its cradle. I went in a quick way to do so. I did give its cradle little touches on its corner with my fingers, and it did rock in a gentle way. As the cradle so did rock THE STORY OF OPAL 225 back and forth in that gentle way, I did sing to the dear baby in it a little song. I did sing to it le chant de fleurs that Angel Father did teach me to sing of hyacinthe, eclaire, nenufar, rose, iris et dauphinelle et oleandre et romarin, Us, eglantier, anemone, nar- cisse et souci. I did sing it four times over, and the baby did go to sleeps again. I do so love to watch it in its cradle. Afterwards I went to look for thoughts. Every day now I do look for thoughts in flowers. Some- times they are hidden away in the flower-bell and sometimes I find them on a wild rose and sometimes they are among the ferns and some- times I climb away up in the trees to look looks for them. So many thoughts do abide near unto us. They come from heaven and live among the flowers and the ferns, and often I find them in the trees. I do so love to go on searches for the thoughts that do dwell near about. CHAPTER XXX How Opal and the Little Birds from the Great Tree Have a Happy Time at the House of Dear Love WHEN I was come home from school this after- noon, first I did go to the wood-shed to carry in wood. I saw there was some new bran in the bran- sack-box. That box is a big box. I make climbs up on it sometimes to have thinks. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus makes a climb up too. Then I get down and make a pile of wood high enough so Brave Horatius can make a jump climb up. We have likes for that big bran-sack-box. Jenny Strong says why we do have likes for that box is because it is a hard box to get up on. But we do get up on it often. Sometimes I do eat my bowl of bread and milk for supper there on the bran-sack-box. There is another box in the wood-shed. In that other box is a sack of wheat. In morning-time a little bit of it goes with the scraps to feed the chickens. In evening before gray-light-time more wheat from that sack goes to feed the chickens. And the chickens do have likes for that wheat from that sack in that box. I strew it on the ground for them in swings. I swing my arm a long swing and then a short swing. When I do swing it a long swing the wheat goes far. When I swing it a short THE STORY OF OPAL 227 swing it goes not so. It goes only a little ways. To-day I did swing my arm four long swings and three short swings and two more long swings. The chickens were glad to have it so. They did pick up that wheat in a hurry way. Then I went into the kitchen to get the egg- turner to pat the dirt down good around that tomato plant that's been dabbling its toes in the brook and is now planted again. Just when I got it most patted down right, so it looked real proper just then the mamma stepped behind me. She turned me over her knee. She would n't listen to explanations. She just applied that egg-turner to the back part of me. Now I feel too much sore to sit down, so I lean over a stump [to print this. I have thinks I will go goes to the house of Dear Love. I so did. I went through the near woods and into the far woods. In my going I went by where the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time does gather ferns for the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes. There little ferns grow tall and big ferns grow very tall. And sunbeams and shadows are among them before gray-light- tfme. It is the same place where the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did dig up little ferns to make fern wishes to the fairies when I put letters in the moss-box by the old log. But now we dig not up little ferns here. We find them in another place. We have feels the fairies would like it, and these ferns grow there for the pensee 228 THE STORY OF OPAL girl with the far-away look in her eyes. Often it is now she is come to visit her aunt of the gray calico dress with a black bow at its neck. After I did say a little prayer at the growing- place of the little tall ferns and the very tall ferns, I did go on. I went on along a winding path that goes in between old logs. I went a little way. I did hear a little squeal. I did look looks about. There was Solomon Grundy coming after me just as quick as he could come. His little legs did bring him in a quick way. I made a stop to wait for him. He was joys all over when he did come up by me. He did jump upon me. And his squeals were squeals of gladness. Then we did go on together. We went on. As we so did, I did sing to him one of the songs Angel Father did teach me to sing. Every day I do sing him one of them. To-day I did sing him un chant des fleurs, de fete, d'oncle, of souci et eglan- tine et pensee et tulipe et quintefeuille et ulmaire et apalachine et tournesol et romarin et eclaire. He did grunt grunts in-between times. When we were come to the house of Dear Love, they were standing by the steps. The husband of Dear Love did bring home to her a little nest that was in a tree that they did fall in the far woods to-day. The nest it was a long nest. Its longness was very long. I have thinks when the wind did go through the woods sometimes this cradle did swing. Its largeness was so long. The husband of Dear Love did think these little birds were most ready THE STORY OF OPAL 229 to fly from the nest when the tree did fall to-day. All the six little birds but one did get death as the tree did fall. They were such little things when we did take them out. The one live one was hungry. And we did feed him. We did feed him little bits at a time a little bit of egg that was left in the dinner-pail of the husband of Dear Love, did give to this little bird some satisfaction feels. Dear Love did cuddle it warm in her hands, and her husband did make the piece of egg into little divides for me to give to it. It did open its mouth most wide. When I so did see it do, I did open my mouth too, like it did. The husband of Dear Love did laugh. I did have asking of him why he did laugh, for it was not thoughtful to laugh at the little hungry bird that did have so hungry feels and lonesome ones. He did say in his gentle way that it was not at the little bird he did laugh. He did say he just did laugh sometimes when he had thinks about things at work. I told him it was nice he had thoughtfuls of the nest that they saw in the tree after it did fall. He said he thought of me and that made him think it would be nice to bring the nest home, and he broke off another piece of egg for the little bird. And more he so did. And every time I did drop a piece of egg into the mouth of the little bird, I did open my mouth wide, too, from seeing the bird do it. When it was full of satisfaction feels, Dear Love did fix it all up nice in a warm little box. She is THE STORY OF OPAL going to give it careful cares so it will grow up. She has asked me to pick out a name for it. I am so going to do. And to-morrow I am going to have the funerals of the other five little birds that did get death as the tree did fall. Dear Love gave me white soft pieces to wrap them in and the husband of Dear Love says he will make the tombstones for their graves. I am going to bury them at Dreux by Blaise. There will they rest. On to-morrow it so will be. To-night when I was come home, I took the pillow from my bed to sit on at the supper-table because the back part of me did feel so sore from that spanking the mamma gave me with the egg- turner out in the garden to-day. After supper-time I did have seeing out the win- dow of the night. It was calling, " Petite Francoise, come, petite Francoise." I went. Brave Horatius followed after. We went adown the path. A big silver yellow ball was coming up over the hill. We made a stop. I did climb on a rock to watch its coming. Brave Horatius put his nose by my hand. I gave him pats. He looked up at me. I told him, "C'est la pleine lune." We went on. We went on to the hill where its coming was. CHAPTER XXXI How Lola Wears her White Silk Dress at Last. LOLA has got her white silk dress that she did have so much wants for, and it has a little ruffle around the neck and one around each sleeve like she had wants for it to have. It is nice she is a great lady now. She so did say at school she would be a great lady when she did have her white silk dress on. And, too, at school she did say the child- ren would gather around her and sing, and they did. And she did say at school, when the children would gather around her and sing when she does have her white silk dress on she did say then she would stand up and stretch out her arms and bestow her blessing on all of them like the deacon does to the people in the church in the mill town but she did n't. She did n't even raise up her hands. She staid asleep in that long box the whole time the children was marching around her and singing "Nearer My God to Thee," and more songs. She did just lay there in that long box with her white silk dress on and her eyes shut and her hands folded and she was very still all the time. Her sister did cry. I did walk up to her and touch her hand where she did sit in the rocking- chair. I did have asks if it was a white silk dress she was having wants for, too. And she patted my 2 3 2 THE STORY OF OPAL hand and I told her maybe she would get a white silk dress soon too, and how nice it was Lola did have hers, what she had wants for and the ruf- fles in its neck and sleeves. And Lola's sister did pat me on the head and went out to her kitchen, and I did go out of doors again. And there was Brave Horatius by the steps, and I saw a yellow butterfly and a little way away there was a mud-puddle. By the mud-puddle was a guepe. She came. She went. Every time she did come she did take a bit of mud. I did watch. When she was gone away, a little hole was where she did take the mud. She did make comes again. It was for mud she did come every time. Last time I did follow after. It was a difficulty the follow- ing after. She was so little a person and the way she did go, it was a quick way. And I had seeing she was making a cradle of mud for a baby guepe to be. Then I went a little way back. I saw a white butterfly. I have wonders if Lola will wear her white silk dress to school when fall time is come. I saw one more white butterfly. I looked more looks about. Among the grasses on a little bush there was a katydid. And its green was a pretty green- ness. Its wings, they were folded close. And it was washing its front feet. I have thinks katydids do keep their feet most clean. They do wash them again and more times. I so do like to keep watches of the way the katydid does clean its face with its THE STORY OF OPAL 233 front foot. I have thinks to be a katydid would be an interest life. Brave Horatius and me looked looks away. We did see the little pond. We went goes to it. Little white fleurs were along the way. I have wonders if Lola will wear her white silk dress when at school they do play London Bridge is falling down. When we was come to the little pond I lay myself down close to its edge. I did look looks into the pond. I saw things there. There were sky-clouds in the water. I saw a crayfish come from under a rock. I saw minnows all about. First they were still. Then they made moves about. I saw a little cradle of tiny stones. It was about an inch long. While I did look looks at it, it walked off. Then me and Brave Horatius did go on explores to the near woods. CHAPTER XXXII Of the Ways that Fairies Write, and the Proper Way to Drink in the Song of the Wood. WHEN morning works was done, then I did go calling on the folks that wear sun-bonnets. I thought I better keep my sun-bonnet on my head, being as I was going calling on sun-bonnet folks. First I went to the garden to visit the pea family. I shook hands all down the row and back up the other row. Then I went to call on their neighbors the beans. And I saw a rabbit in the garden near unto the cabbages. I went a little nearer. I went to see who it was. It was Madame Lapine. She is a gentle woman and her ways are quiet ways, and she does have a fondness for bits of apple. When- ever I do have an apple I do save bits for her. Too, she likes cabbage, and I have showed her the way into the garden to get it when I am not there to get it for her. To-day, after I did have talks with most all the folks in the garden and after, I did tell them about this day being the crowning day of Louis XIV in 1654 an d the going-away day of Robert de Bruce in 1329; then I did go out across the fields to have talks with Aphrodite and Solomon Grundy and Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. Then it was I saw THE STORY OF OPAL 235 the chore boy near unto the barn. He had a long stick. He was knocking down the homes of the swallows. There were broken cradles on the ground, and there were grown-up swallows about with dis- tresses in their flying. That did make me to have so sad feels. I did tell him how dear are swallows, but he would have no listens. Afterwards I did go goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. As I did go along I did have seeing of a little thing in the road ahead. It was a very little thing and it made little moves. They were only flutterings. It went not away from where it was. I did go in a hurry on. When I was come to it, I did have seeing it was a little bird. It was a little bird that was hurt by the step of a cow. I have thinks it was making a try to make a go across the road. I cuddled it up and I felt feels in my apron pocket and there was some mentholatum. And I give it some applys and we went to the hospital. And I put it there on moss in a little soap-box room where nothing can come and bring it more hurts. And it did have likes for the water I gave it to drink in a thimble, and more likes it did have for the food I gave it to eat. I named it William Make- peace Thackeray. Then I did go goes on to the house of Sadie McKibben, and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium went goes with me. Lars Porsena of Clusium did ride part ways on the back of Brave Horatius. When we was come to the house of 236 THE STORY OF OPAL Sadie McKibben, she was having troubles. Just when she did have her clothes all hung out, then the clothes-line did break and they all had falls on the ground. While she did gather them up, she did have talks to herself. She did say, " 'Tis a folly to fret; grief 's no comfort." When her bread gets burns in the oven and the chickens bother on the porch and the clothes boil over on the stove and everything seems to go wrong, Sadie McKibben has a way of saying, '"Tis a folly to fret; grief's no comfort." While she was giving more wash-outs to them clothes that did have a fall while the clothes-line did break, she did sing. She sings on days when sunshine is. She sings on days when rain is. Sadie McKibben always sings before the summer rain as does the robin. To-day, when she did have them clothes part hung on the line again, then it was the man that wears gray neckties did come by on his way to the mill town. He had asks if there was anythings she was having needs of that he could bring back. And she did say bacon and some soda and some more things what she had needs of for to cook with. While she told him, he did write it down. I breathed a big breathe when I did see him write it down, for he does write in the way that the fair- ies write. I said, " Oh ! " He did turn himself around. He did say, "What is it, little one?" And I did tell him all in one breath. I did tell him, "Oh, it's THE STORY OF OPAL 237 that you write in the way the fairies write that do put things for me by the old log where the moss- box is." Then he did smile and he looked a long look out the door. I have thinks he was thinking of the long- ago time when the fairies did teach him to write their way. When he did start to go, I heard him say to Sadie McKibben, "I guess I will have to change my writing." I most slipped off the chair I was setting on the edge of. I had feels I better speak to him about it. I had feels of the sorry feels the fairies would feel when they had knowing he was not going to write in the way they did teach him to write. When he did tell me good-bye I did say, "Please don't change your writing because you write the way the fairies do. I have thinks the way they write is lovely." And he did smile his gentle smile. Then I did tell him how sorry I knew the fairies would feel if he wrote not on in their way. Then he did say he guessed it would be a pretty hard thing trying to write another way from what the fairies did teach him to write. I have thinks it would so be. And to-night in my prayers I will thank God the fairies did teach the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice to write in their way. It is a very beautiful way. Some of the letters are like ripples on the water. I have longings to write as the fairies write. 238 THE STORY OF OPAL First thing I did do on the morning of to-day was to go to prayers in the cathedral. When I was come again to the house we live in, I did eat my breakfast. For breakfast I do eat a bowl of bread and milk. Then I did give the back porch a sweep-off. That made its appears better. Then I did go to feed the chickens, and after that I did go to feed the folks in the nursery. The caterpillars do eat so much. They do get hungry feels inside them most often. When I did have them well fed on this morning, I did make tries to get some of them into their christening robes so that they can be christened before they do grow more old, and before they do grow too big to wear their little christening robes. The matter of making christening robes for caterpillars, it is not a difficult one. The difficulty is to get a frisky caterpillar to keep still while one is putting on his christening robe . And then it is a problem to keep it on after one does get it on. I do have much troubles with caterpillars crawling out of their christening robes after I do get them on. Before I did get five caterpillars into their chris- tening robes I did hear the mamma calling. She did have needs of me. I ran a quick run to the house. When I did walk in the door, I did hold up my dress. Now the mamma makes me raise up my dress when I come into the house so she can get a good look at my underskirt all around. She does it to see if I have any animals about me in the pockets THE STORY OF OPAL 239 I pin on my underskirts. The mamma objects to my bringing animals into the house. In the days of now I am real careful not to be bringing in my friends in these pockets when the mamma is at home. This morning she did look satisfaction looks when she saw not an animal in the pockets I have pinned onto my underskirt. When I was walked in she did send me again to get wood. She did want the wood-box filled with wood. Sometimes it takes an awful long time to fill the wood-box. The longest time is when I am in a hurry to go on exploration trips. While I did pile the wood in, I did whisper my feels about it all to Felix Mendelssohn, that was hiding up my sleeve. Then the mamma said if I was born her child, I would n't have had this longing to go on exploration trips. Then she did send me to pick elderberries. She did tell me to scoot up the tree in a hurry. I did so. When I was up in the tree, I did not hurry so to get the berries. I took looks about. I looked to the divides in the road and away to the blue hills. Then I sat on another limb and looked looks more near. I did watch the little pond. In the pond is a lily. The lily is a yellow lily and it floats upon the water. It does float upon the water like a little sky-star. Maybe it was a little one that did have longings to cuddle in among the raindrops that do come together in the pond. I wonder how it came to be. I would like to know. In the pasture by the pond I did see a mother 2 4 o THE STORY OF OPAL sheep. I think it must be nice to be a sheep to be a mother sheep and have a little lamb. Children are such a blessing. When I did have my pail half full of berries, I did stop to pick out names for the twins I am going to have when I grow up. I did pick out sixteen names and then, being as I could not make decides between them, I did have decides to pick out names for them some other day. And I did begin at once to get that pail all full of elder- berries. When that was come to pass, I set the pail on a little stump. Brave Horatius stayed to guard it, and I did go the way that leads to the hill-top. I did have longings to dance. Most every day I do dance. I dance with the leaves and the grass. I feel thrills from my toes to my curls. I feel like a bird sometimes. Then I spread my arms for wings. And I go my way from stump to stump and on adown the hill. Sometimes I am a demoiselle flit- ting near unto the water. Then I nod unto the willows and they nod unto me. They wave their arms and I wave mine. They wiggle their toes in the water a bit and I do so too. And every time we wiggle our toes we do drink into our souls the song of the brook the glad song it is always singing. And the joy-song does sing on in our hearts. So did it to-day. And afterwards when I did go to get my pail of elderberries, they were gone. They were gone only a little way. Brave Horatius did have feelings those elderberries ought to be going to the THE STORY OF OPAL 241 house we live in. So he did make starts with them. When I did catch up with him he did have the pail-handle in his mouth. He was going in a slow way. And only a few elderberries did spill out. I have thinks they did roll out when he took the bucket off the stump. CHAPTER XXXIII Of the Death of Lars Porsena of Clusium, and of the Com- fort that Sadie McKibben can Give. THE waters of the brook lap and lap. They come in little ripples over gray stones. They are rippling a song. It is a gentle song. It is a good-bye song to Lars Porsena of Clusium. The time now is when there is no Lars Porsena of Clusium. It was only on yesterday. It was near eventime, when the mamma was gone to the house of her mother. I was making a go across the corn field to see the tree-folks in the lane. Brave Horatius did follow after me. Lars Porsena of Clusium was going on a way ahead. His movements did look queer with his tail-feathers not growed out yet. He went on. He came a little way back to see if we were coming. Then he started on in a hurry way. I was watching him with joy feels in my heart. I was having thinks how nice it would be when he does get his new tail- feathers all growed out. Brave Horatius did give a queer bark, and he pulled the corner of my apron. I looked looks about. There the chore boy was in a corner of the corn field with a gun. He was pointing it out on the field. I had thinks he had not seeing of my dear Lars Porsena out there. I ran a quick run to keep him from pulling that thing on the gun that makes THE STORY OF OPAL 243 the noise and pains. I hollered hollers at him about Lars Porsena of Clusium crossing the cornfield. When I was come to where the chore boy was, I did tell him he must not shoot that old gun a ball in it might go as far as my dear Lars Porsena of Clusium. He just laughed a laugh, and he said he did that Lars Porsena was nothing but a crow. And then he pointed that gun right at my own dear Lars Porsena of Clusium. The noise was a big awful cal lamb of tea. I had feels I was killed dead when I saw him fall. I ran a quick run. When I was come to him, I found he was making little flut- terings. When I did go to pick him up, he was wet with much blood. I felt the shivers of his pains. I wrapped my apron around him so he would not have cold feels. There was much wetness upon my apron as I did go along. It was wetness of blood. The sky was more gray, and before I was come to the house we live in, the raindrops were coming down in a slow, sad way. I have thinks the sky was crying tears for the hurts of Lars Porsena of Clusium. And I was too. I had longs for the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice to be come back again. He and other mill folks and Dear Love and her husband and Sadie McKibben and her husband are all away gone until to-morrow even-time. I had not knows what to do for Lars Porsena of Clusium. This was not like that time he lost his tail. I did 244 THE STORY OF OPAL cuddle him up close in my arms, and I washed off some of the blood, but more and more came. And sleepy feels were upon him. I wrapped my apron more close around him, and I did sing songs to him about Ave Maria and "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus." After the mamma was gone to bed and sleeps, I did take Lars Porsena of Clusium to bed with me. He was so sleepy. I cuddled him up in my arms and we both did go to sleep, for tired feels was upon us. When I had wake-ups early on this morning, my own dear Lars Porsena was very cold and he was very dead and stiffness was upon him. I did have queer feels in my throat and pain feels all up and down me. I so did want him alive again, to go explores. When the mamma was most awake, I climbed out the bedroom window with him in a quick way. I went on. I did go until I was come to the lane. And I did go on down our lane until I was come to the tall fir tree, Good King Edward I. I lay Lars Porsena of Clusium near unto Good King Edward I, and I said a little prayer and I covered him over with moss. I now go to have his funeral at Dreux. Brave Horatius too does wait waits, and quiet is upon him. He has longs for Lars Porsena of Clusium to come perch on his back. And the winds are calling, and between the callings of the wind the willows do call down by the creek. They beckon and call to the soul of Lars Porsena of Clusium. THE STORY OF OPAL 245 The clouds go slow across the sky. The water goes slow in the brook. No one seems to be in a hurry. Even the wind walks slow. I think she wears a silk robe to-day. I can hear its faint rustle. I think the wind is dreaming too. With the whis- pering leaves she sings a dream-song. This is a dream-day. I stopped in the dusty road and looked a long while at the sun. It was round and a bright shining. Then for a little time afterwards, every- where I looked I saw a tiny bright shining, and there was a queer feeling in my head. When I was come to the field, Savonarola did look like the flies were giving him some bothers. I took my apron and shooed some of them off. I could only reach a little way up. I have thinks it did help some. The chore boy did not come for some long time. While Savonarola waited his coming, I did give him some more fans with my apron. I had longings for the papa's newspaper. I had thinks I could make that go more far up than I could make my apron go. First I did stand on one side of Savonarola and shake my apron at the flies. Then I did stand on the other side of him. Those flies were most lazy. They did n't want to make moves at all. While I did make tries to make the flies make moves away, I did sing a song of fleurs of grandmere, offraxinelle, romarin, anemone, narcisse, cornope, oleandre, iris, souci, eglantier, marguerite, aubepine, renoncule, immortelle, eclaire, anemone, myosotis, eglantier, lys, iris, eclaire, dau- 246 THE STORY OF OPAL phinelle, ornithogale, romarin, lys, eglantier, anemone, narcisse, souci, to Savonarola. Then I went to get him a drink in my little bucket that I do hide by the willows. He had likes for that drink of cold water and some more. When that chore boy was most come I did give Savonarola good-bye pats on his velvet nose. Afterwards I did go goes down by Launette and on to Nonette where the willows grow. I did print a message on a leaf. It was for the soul of Lars Porsena of Clusium. I left it on a willow branch with a little prayer that his soul would have finding of it. Then I did make begins to get ready for Aphro- dite's foot-bath. She has needs for one most every day. And most days she does get it. I do fill seven Castoria bottles full of water. Then I put their corks in, and all of them that will go into the lard- pail I do so put in. Too, I have a little brush to brush her feet with while I do give them splash- water baths out of the Castoria bottles. Aphrodite has likes for foot-baths, and some days she does have likes for the shower-baths I do give to her out of the little flower-sprinkler. I give her back brushes and then some more showers from the flower-sprinkler. That flower-sprinkler I did write to the fairies for. I put the letter in the moss-box by the old log where I do put other letters for the fairies. The time it was not long until the fairies did leave this flower-sprinkler for it. I water the THE STORY OF OPAL 247 wild flowers after warm days and I water the plants that do grow in the garden. I can almost hear the tomato-plants say, "We were waiting for you," every time I do give them sprinkles. And the cabbage-plants have likes for them, too. To-day, after I did give shower-baths to Aphrodite and Solomon Grundy and his sister Anthonya Mundy that has not got as much curl in her tail as has Solomon Grundy, then I did give shower-baths to some more folks. Afterwards I went to the cathedral to have service there, for this is the going-away day of Good King Edward I in 1307. Brave Horatius went with me and so did Minerva. She wore her cap with ruffles on it like the morning-cap of Jenny Strong. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydi- des walked by my side. And too Sir Francis Bacon went with us. His leg has well feels a long time now, but he walks not as other chickens walk. He has likes to go to cathedral service, and so has Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. To-day after I did sing, "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus," then we all did go goes to the house of Sadie McKibben. When we was come near unto it, there was Sadie McKibben on the big gray rock under the old fir tree. Her hands made quick moves with needles the kind that knit. She was knitting socks for the man that is her husband and does live at her house. I sat down on the ground beside her. She had on her blue gingham 248 THE STORY OF OPAL apron with the cross stitches on it. I did make counts of thirty cross stitches on that apron to-day. Some day I will count them all. There were some grasses growing close to the gray rock, and their little fingers did touch the cross stitches on the blue gingham apron of Sadie McKibben. I have thinks they too would like to cuddle up to Sadie McKibben. CHAPTER XXXIV Of the Fall of the Great Tree, and the Funeral of Aristotle. TO-DAY was a long work-day. When afternoon- time was come, the mamma was worried because the cream was n't sour enough to churn, and she wanted to get it churned before supper-time. I wanted to help her. I feel so sorry for her when the worry lines come on her face. They make her look tired. While she was taking a nap by the baby on the bed, I tried to think how I could help her. By-and-by, after a time not very long, I thought of a way. I got a lemon and cut it in two with the butcher-knife. Then I took the lid off the big churn. I squeezed those lemons lots of times into the cream. Then, when they would n't leak any more juice out, I put the rinds in for a finishing touch, just like the mamma puts them into the lemonade after she has squeezed all the squeeze out. I feel better now. I know when the mamma awakes, joy will be hers when she sees the cream is sour enough to churn. But the feels the mamma did have when she had wake-ups they was not joy feels; and the feels I now have are sore feels on the back part of me. While I did mind the baby, there was an odd sound like someone crying a great way off. The mamma says, "I wonder what it is." I know it is THE STORY OF OPAL the death-song of that gray fir tree they are falling this afternoon. Sleeps is come upon the baby. The mamma says for me to get out of her way. I go now goes to the woods. I did. I went on to where its growing was. It reaches up and up most away to the clouds. Days have been when I did sit by it to have thinks. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has gone goes there with me, and Brave Horatius has waited waits while I did say prayers by that great tree. And I have told it all the things I am going to do when I grow up. I have told it about the books I am going to write about wood-folks and them of the field, and about the twins I want when I grow up, and the eight other children. And always I have read to this great fir tree the letters I have wrote and put in the big log for the fairies to take to grandmere and grandpere. And night-times I have heard the little wind-song among its arms most near to the sky, and I have almost touched the big gray shadow with velvet fingers that stays close by it at night-time. And to-day there I did watch and I did hear its moans as the saw went through it. And I sat down on the ground. There was a queer feel in my throat and I could n't stand up. All the woods seemed a still sound except the pain-sound of the saw. It seemed like a little voice was calling from the cliffs. And then it was many voices. They were all little voices calling as one silver voice come THE STORY OF OPAL 251 together. The saw it did n't stop it went on sawing. Then I did have thinks the silver voice was calling to the soul of the big fir tree. The saw did stop. There was a stillness. There was a queer sad sound. The big tree did quiver. It did sway. It crashed to the earth. Yesterday was the day of the funeral of Aris- totle. He died of eating too many mosquitoes. Now I have not three pet bats. I only have two pet bats Plato and Pliny. And they are like mice with angel wings. I have likes to watch Pliny scratch his head with his hind-foot, and he does use a part of his wonderful stretchy wing for a wash- cloth. I have lonesome feels about Aristotle being gone. I go now goes to the garden to get turnips for supper. I did. And I give to them washes in the brook. When I did take them in to put them on the cook- table, the mamma and the grandma was talking about the garden. The mamma did wonder where that third cabbage-head was gone. I did n't. I know. It is up the brook a ways dabbling its toes in the water. I dug it up this morning and put it there. To-night I shall plant it again in the garden. It will have had a glad day dabbling its toes in the brook. That does give one such a nice feel. I have been sitting on a high stump looking looks to where is the road. Now the sun shines yellow and many flowers bloom yellow along the road. 252 THE STORY OF OPAL When I grow up, I 'm going to write a book about the folks that wear the sunshine color. I have printed some prints for its begins. When I was coming back from the stump, I saw a spider. I stopped to watch him. He walked on his web. There was a mosquito in the web. I thought I would take that mosquito to Pliny to eat. Before I could get to it, that spider ate that mos- quito up. I came a come as near unto the chene trees. I saw the black cat coming in a creep along. He was coming more near unto the little squirrel that had no seeing of his coming. I ran a more quick run. I hollered a little holler. The little squirrel did make a start to make a run. The cat did make a jump. I so did too. The cat did begin to make a quick run. I so did too. I fell over a little root. That helped some because, when I fell, I did catch the tail of that old black cat. I pulled it most hard. He did drop the little squirrel and made objects to my pulling his tail so. Then I did get the baby squirrel. It was most killed, but it was not killed dead. I did cuddle it up in my hands and we did go the way that does go to the hospital. I have metholatumed it and named it Geoffroi Chaucer, and I have told it about this being the day of the going-away of Innocent III in 1216. Now I go goes to the cathedral to say thanks for his borning and all the good he did do, and to pray for the angels to bring a new baby to the mamma and the papa when comes Easter-time. CHAPTER XXXV How the Man of the Long Step that Whistles Most of the Time Takes an Interesting Walk. ONE of my tooths is loose and a queer feel. This morning, after I did come back from prayers in the cathedral with Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, it was then I did have feels of that tooth. It was funny feels its being loose. After I did eat some of my mush, I did go to the string-box and I pulled out a string. It was a white one. There was lots of white strings in that box, and a pink one and a green one. I put the white string back and I pulled out the green one. It was long very long feets long. I did tie one part of it around my tooth with carefuls. Then I did come a walk over to where the broom stands behind the back door. I did tie the other end of the long green string to the broom- handle. And I kept hold of the middle of the string in my hand so when the broom had falls it would n't give a bump to my tooth when it did pull it out. I went a walk off. The tooth did n't come out. The green string did just have a slip off the broom- handle. I carried the string in a careful way while I did go to bring in the wood and other morning works the mamma did want done when she went away to the grandma's house. When the works was done, 254 THE STORY OF OPAL then I tied that string to the door-knob. I started to walk off. Then I came back a ways. I decided to wait a little while. I walked off again. I got most far enough to get it jerked out. Then I thought I 'd wait until after dinner. I took the string off my tooth, but I left it on the door-knob to remind me to do it after dinner. Now I go. And I went goes to the woods with Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and Louis II, le Grand Conde. And there I met a glad surprise. To-day the fairies did bring more color pencils to the moss-box by the old log. I had finding of them in the afternoon of to-day. There was a blue one and a green one and a yellow one and a purple one, and more there was too. I looked looks at them, and I climbed up into the tree that is close by the old log. I climbed up to be more near the sky. There was songs in the tree-tops and I did make a stop way below to have listens. And I did look looks down on where is the moss-box and the fleurs I have planted near unto it and the ferns and the vines that do have growing over the old log. And while I did have watches of the plant-folks that dwell about the moss-box, and while I did have listens of the songs in the tree-tops, then it was the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes and the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time did come walking through the woods. It is often now they so come, and he does gather ferns for her and they have listens to what the THE STORY OF OPAL 255 brook sings. To-day they did n't make a stop by the brook. They came right on and on. They so did until they was come right up to where the plant-folks dwell by the moss-box. First I did have thinks they was coming comes to leave a letter for the fairies. But they came and they stood there they did not go goes away. Then I had knows they did n't even see the moss- box where I do leave the letters for the fairies. They did almost step on it. I had sees there was joy-lights in her eyes, and the looks he looked at her was like the looks the young husband of Dear Love does look at her when he is come home from work at even-time. And I did reach out my arms above them for blessings to come. They had not knows of my reaching out my arms above them. Only God had knows. They did just have sees for one another. I have sure feels they did n't see that green caterpillar having sleeps under the green hazel leaf. He most stepped on the moss-box. I most hollered. My loose tooth was queer feels. He is a most strong man. He put his arms around the -pensee girl and he most lifted her off the ground. I had fears he would drop her on the moss-box. I most did have losing of my bal- ance on the tree-arm. And I had sees of a chipmunk on a stump. He was very saucy and had nice stripes on his back. And he did sit up and talk chipmunk talk to an- other chipmunk. I had hears of him and sees of 256 THE STORY OF OPAL him. But the man of the long step and the pensee girl did n't have sees of the chipmunk. He did take out a ring of gold, and he did tell her that was his mother's wedding-ring; and the caterpillar that was asleep did have wake-ups, and he crawled a little more under the hazel leaf. And a butterfly went by it was a cream one with a nice ribbon at its wing-edge and pinkish spots. I had thinks about how nice it would be to be a butterfly and come out of a little egg and be a caterpillar first and have a lot of legs instead of just two legs like I have got now. And I looked more looks at the fat green caterpillar. I have more like him in the nursery. He did kiss her again. Last year I had more green caterpillars like unto this one. And they did grow and change and they was very big brown moths with velvet wings and velvet feet. And he did say, "I want to help you to have all the love joy in the world"; and I put more in my prayer a baby soon. And the fat green caterpillar fell off the leaf away down on the ground, but he fell on some moss I have put about where is the moss-box. And after his arm did touch the hazel bush he did step over two steps. I breathed a big breathe of reliefs about the moss-box not having steps on. And he kissed her again. And the green caterpillar made begins to crawl back up the hazel bush. And I felt a big amount of satisfaction feels that they was so happy. And I did whisper another prayer THE STORY OF OPAL 257 for the angels to bring them a baby real soon, with pink fleurs on its baby brush and a pink bow on its cradle-quilt. And in the bushes there was a little bird and restless was upon him. The color of him was blue- gray, and there were streaks underneath and there was a bit of yellow on his throat and so on top of his head. He did move in a quick way. I so did, so I could see him more. As I did go along a-following him after, I did have sees of the tracks of the com- ings and goings of little wood-folks. And a way away was a soft-eyed faon. When it's with its mother, then it is a daine. There was whispers in the ferns and more songs in the tree-tops. And my tooth had some more queer feels, and I had remembers about the green string tied to the door- knob. I went a walk back. It was still there when I was come to the house we live in. Brave Horatius was by the steps. He did have watches of me while I did tie the other end of the long green string around my tooth. Then I went a quick walk to the other door by step-backs. I made a reach out for the green string. But it was n't. It was on the floor, and my tooth was. After I did throw it away, then I did do the green string up in a roll. I am going to keep it. I went goes to the garden to get the beets the mamma did want for supper. While I did get them, I did have seeing that the green dresses of the 258 THE STORY OF OPAL turnip-folk are getting faded and old. I thought they might like to have new white dresses. I went again to the kitchen. I lifted the flour-sifter from the flour-drawer in the cook-table. I did go back to the garden. There I sifted flour on the turnip folks. It came down in sprinkles like snowflakes. That gave them the proper look. When the wind came along, they nodded appreciation and some of the flour slid off to the ground. And Brave Hora- tius and I went to prayers in the cathedral, and so went Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Menan- der Euripides Theocritus Thucydides. And Ma- thilde Plantagenet did wait waits at the pasture- bars. CHAPTER XXXVI Of Taking-Egg Day, and the Remarkable Things that Befell thereon. TO-DAY was taking-egg day. Taking-egg day comes mostly one time a week. It is the day the mamma does send me straight to take eggs to the folks here about and yonder. First she does send me to take them yonder, before she does send me to take them hereabout. This she does because she knows if she sends me first to take them to the folks that live hereabout, I do stay so long with the folks that live in the nursery and hospital that there is n't time enough left to take eggs unto the people that live yonder. As quick as I did eat my breakfast, the mamma did set out the lard-pail on the wash-bench with a dozen eggs in it. As quick as she did so, I put on my sun-bonnet. It is blue and has a ruffle on it. Sometimes I wear it on my head, but most times it hangs back over my shoulders. And often I carry it over my arm with things in it earthworms for baby birds, bandages for the folks that get hurt, and mentholatum in quinine boxes. Then too on exploration trips my chums ride in it. Sometimes it's a mouse and sometimes it's a beetle. Very often it is toads and caterpillars only they don't ride in the sun-bonnet at the same time, because I 2 6o THE STORY OF OPAL have learned toads like to eat caterpillars for break- fast. Sometimes Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, that most dear velvety wood-rat, snuggles up in my sun-bonnet. He most fills it up. A sun-bonnet is a very useful garment. After I did tie my bonnet-strings under my chin in the proper way the mamma thinks they ought to be tied, I walked over to the wash-bench in hip- pity-hops to get that bucket of eggs. Before I took up the bucket, I did look long looks at those eggs. They were so plump and so white, and they did have so nice a feel. I think being a hen must be a very interesting life. How thrilling it must be to cackle after one lays an egg. And then it must be a big amount of satisfaction to have a large number of children hatch out at the same time and fol- low one about. I think I would like to be a hen in the daytime, but I would n't like to roost in the chicken-house at night. When the mamma saw me looking long looks at those eggs, she gave to me a shoulder-shake and told me to get a hurry on me and take those eggs straight to Mrs. Limberger yonder. That Mrs. Limberger is the quite plump wife of that quite big man that lives in a quite big house that is nice but is n't as nice as his lane. I thought I'd go straight to Mrs. Limberger's in along that lane from out along the field; but first I did go by to get Felix Mendelssohn. When I got to where he was, it was very near THE STORY OF OPAL 261 unto the altar of Good King Edward I. And being as this was the day of his crowning in 1274, I thought I would just go a little farther, to see if the crown I planted in little plants there on the altar were growing in a nice way. They were. When I planted them there from the woods in spring days, I did hope they would burst into bloom on this his crowning day and make a crown of flowers on his altar. But the dear little things got in a hurry, and did bloom more than a month ago. But they were saying to-day beautiful things with their leaves. I heard them as I did kneel to pray to thank God for Good King Edward I. After I did pray quite a long time and Felix Mendelssohn got a little fidgety, I started on to take the eleven eggs that were left straight to Mrs. Limberger. The other egg I could not take be- cause when I did kneel to pray, in some way it did roll out of the bucket, and before I was through my prayers a little gray rock by my hand just rolled off the altar and met the egg. There are a lot of little gray rocks on the altar. It is mostly made up of little rocks and some big ones. While I was making that altar, the man that works at the mill and wears gray neckties and is kind to mice came along. And the big rocks that were too big he did lift and place on the altar there. And then he did help me to plant mosses in between some of the rocks. That made me happy. Men are such a bless- ing to have about. 262 THE STORY OF OPAL To-day I did go from the altar to the field. Along the way I stopped to talk to the trees and to watch the birds and to get berries for the nursery. I put them in the bucket with the eggs. I most lost my bonnet climbing over the fence, and I did lose three more of those eggs and some of the berries for the nursery. I picked up the berries and put them back in the lard-pail, but the eggs I could not pick up. I did n't put my sun-bonnet back on my head again, but I did give the strings a little tie in front so it would n't come off. Very soon after I saw a little snake. He was crawling along. When I see snakes, I like to stop and watch them. The dresses they wear fit them tight. They can't fluff out their clothes like birds can, but snakes are quick people. They move in such a pretty way. Their eyes are bright and their tongues are slim. When that snake crawled away where I could n't see him any more, I walked over to talk to a flower. After we did have conversation for some time, I happened to think the mamma did say to hurry; so I said good-bye, and when I did, I put my nose to the flower to smell it. It had a pleasant odor. I went on. Pretty soon I felt something on my nose. I wiped it off. It was pollen from that flower. I put it on an egg in the lard-pail. That gave that egg a flowery look. I showed it to an ear of corn, and then, as I did go along, I stopped to take the clods away from the roots of some of the corn- plants so the toes of their roots could have some THE STORY OF OPAL 263 fresh air. They quivered appreciations, and some did bow down most to the ground to thank me after I was done. I proceeded. The day was most warm. When I did cross the creek I looked down it and up it. There were fairy demoiselles near unto the water. Their wings did shimmer in the sunlight. All along its edges the willows were dabbling their toes. Some had waded in a little bit about enough to get their ankles wet. I looked long looks at them. I knew just how they did feel inside while they were dabbling their toes in the water. It is such a nice feel to have. I started on. I looked back. I started on. I turned and came back a little ways just to take a good-bye look. The willows waved their hands to me. They called to me, "Petite Francoise, petite Francoise." I hurried on with the eggs. I had got twice as far as I did get before. Then I started back to the creek. I ran all the way. When I arrived I took off my shoes. I hung my stock- ings on a willow branch. Then I sat on the edge of the bank and dabbled my toes. One drinks in so much inspiration while one is dabbling one's toes in a willow creek. And one does hear the talk- ings of plants that dwell near unto the water. While I was dabbling my toes, my legs did have longings to go in wading, but I went not in. Some- thing might have happened to what was left of that dozen eggs the mamma was sending straight 264 THE STORY OF OPAL to Mrs. Limberger, and that was why I did not go. And I did not take Felix Mendelssohn out of the pocket he was riding in, that he might dabble his toes. I took him not out, for he has no longings to dabble his toes in a brook. He has prefers to dabble his toes in cheese. Though I do feel most certain one does n ? t get near so much inspirations when one dabbles one's toes in cheese as one gets when one dabbles one's toes in waters that sing. After I did take in a goodly amount of inspirations, I drew my toes away from the water and let the sun dry my feet so I could put my stockings on. While I was lacing my shoes up, I looked looks around to see what was near about. A little way distant was a haystack. When I did have my shoes most laced up to the top, I gave the strings a tuck in and started on. I saw a bourdon. He was plump in body and he did give a plump buzz. I did halt to screwtineyes him and to listen to more of those plump buzzings of his. They were cool sounds. What ones I did hear were so. He was a bourdon in a hurry, and he went on in a quick way. And I went on in a slow way. The sun was so hot. It made me squint my eyes, so I put my bonnet on. That made things better. Pretty soon I met Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Then we went walking across the field. I took off my sun-bonnet and tied it on Elizabeth Barrett Browning so the sun would n't bother her eyes. And she did go her way and I did go mine. W T e THE STORY OF OPAL 265 shall meet again at the pasture-bars when comes even-time. When I did say good-bye to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I went the way that leads to this hay- stack. And here I have stopped. A haystack is such an interesting place. It's a nice place to ex- plore. I think so. Mice think so. Sometimes quite often when I am crawling back in a hay- stack, I do meet a mouse, which is very nice, for mice are nice folks to know. And now to-day, when I did crawl back away under the straw I did find something. What I did find made me feel grati- tudes from my curls to my toes. It was a nest full of eggs and nobody had used an egg from it. There are there were just fifteen eggs under the hay. They are not near so white as are those eight eggs the mamma is sending straight to Mrs. Limberger, but they do have more smooth feels. Oh, such satin feels! They are so slick they came most slipping right out of my hands, but they did n't. Four and two I have took. I have put them here in the pail. I do know Mrs. Limberger does so like to have things with satin feels about her. I have heard her expressions so when I was taking eggs to her before. Now I think she will beam delights all over her plumpness when she does see the satin feel eggs in this pail. I have placed them on top so she will see them first of all. Too, I think her eyes will kink when she finds she has got a dozen eggs and two. I wonder what she will be doing with 266 THE STORY OF OPAL those two extra eggs. Now I '11 just get a hurry on me and take them straight to her. And I will hide these printings of to-day in a little box here in the haystack until comes eventime. And I will come back again for them when I come to meet Eliza- beth Barrett Browning at the pasture-bars. I 'm back again. I did go straight from this hay- stack with the two and dozen eggs to the door of the house of Mrs. Limberger. When I did get there she was talking with a woman. The woman was the beautiful Sadie McKibben, and she wore upon her a new dress like the blossoms of avalon growing in the marshes, and there were freckles on it like the freckles on her face, and both were beautiful. Also did Mrs. Limberger wear a new dress. It was black and had a yellow stripe in it like unto one of those yellow stripes the garter-snake wears on his back. When I did walk soft upon the porch they were so busy talking they heard me not. I reached out the eggs. Yet they were so busy talking they saw them not. Then I did edge over to Sadie McKibben. I gave her sleeve a little pull. She looked down at me and smiled. She went on talking. She gave each one of my curls a smooth-out while she talked on. When she did get most done with her part of the conversation, Mrs. Limberger did happen to see the eggs I was holding out to her. She reached and took them. I was glad, but my arm was the most glad part of me because it did have a tired feeling from holding the bucket out so long. THE STORY OF OPAL 267 She did n't even notice those satin eggs on top. She did begin to talk about the many ribbons and the many ruffles the new woman wears that lives up the corduroy road. She talked on and on, and I did wait on for the lard-pail the eggs were in. And I did get fidgety, for she was n't holding the bucket straight by the middle of its loop as a bucket ought to be held. I had a little fear she would drop that bucket. That would make a dent in it. And I knew what a spanking I would get if I took that pail home with a dent in it. I did stick my finger in my mouth to keep from speaking to her about it. Just when I had feels how that spanking was going to feel, she did take a firm hold on the handle. But she did n't take it in the middle. That did make the bucket to tip. She went on talking. She took a big breath and two of those satin-feel eggs did roll out. They bounced. They broke. Mrs. Limberger kinked her nose quick. She put her new black dress to it. Sadie McKibben too did put her new dress to her nose in a quick way. And my apron so did I put to my nose. Now this I know for there I learned, an egg with a satin feel may feel proper, but inside it is not so, and if it gets a fall, it is only a queer odor that one does have longings to run away from. But Mrs. Limberger made me stay right there and carry water from the pump and scrub all the bad odors off her back porch. I think some of them odors was n't from the two eggs with satin feels. 268 THE STORY OF OPAL When I confided my feelings about the matter to Felix Mendelssohn, Mrs. Limberger did tell me to go on scrubbing. She said whatever smells might have been there you could n't get a whiff of, on account of the multiplications of smells that came from the two eggs. Sadie McKibben did help me to scrub. She did ask Mrs. Limberger not to men- tion the matter to the mamma. Also she said she was going by that way to-morrow and would bring the four eggs to make up the dozen. When I started home Sadie McKibben did give to me a good-bye kiss on each cheek. She knew how I do long for kisses, and how the mamma has n't time to give me any. When I walked by Mrs. Limberger I did look the other way. As I passed she gave me a pat, and when she did, Felix Men- delssohn squeaked. When she gave me the pat, it went through my dress onto the back of the head of Felix Mendelssohn in a pocket in my underskirt. And he being a mouse of a musical tendency does object to being patted on the back of the head. He prefers to have pats on his throat. And he won't let anybody give them but me. I went on in a hurry to home. The mamma came a little ways from the door to meet me. Behind her was a switch. I saw both ends sticking out. I did give my skirt a shake so Felix Mendelssohn would get out and away. It would be awful for him to get hurt by a whipping. It might hurt his soul. After the mamma did tend to me as usual, I put THE STORY OF OPAL 269 some mentholatum on the places where the whip did hit most hard. Then I did go to take eggs to the folks that live hereabout. I went in a hurry. After that there were baby clothes to be washed and wood to be brought in. Then the mamma told me to go find my sun-bonnet and not to come back un- til I did find it. I went again to the altar of Good King Edward I to pray. Then I went to the nurs- ery and the hospital and came again here where I print. Now I do see Elizabeth Barrett Browning at the pasture-bars. And she has got my sun-bon- net on. I knew we would meet again at eventide at the pasture-bars, for often we do and often on hot days she wears my sun-bonnet until we meet again. It does so help to keep the sun from hurting her beautiful eyes. CHAPTER XXXVII Of the Strange Adventure in the Woods on the Going-Away Day of Saint Louis. VERY early on the morning of to-day I did go unto the cathedral, for this is the going-away day of Saint Louis in 1270. I went there to sing a thank song for his goodness and to say prayers. I did sing the song of Saint Louis that Angel Father did teach me to sing. The little leaves on the bushes growing there under the grand trees their little leaves did whisper little whispers. I have thinks those little whispers were thank songs for the goodness of Saint Louis. Sometimes I did hear little bird voices in between the singing of the songs. I have thinks they were singing the same thank song I did sing only they were singing it in their way. And when I came again home, the brook was singing the same song. After other works was done at the house we live in on this morning, the mamma did have me to stand on a box on a chair and give to the windows some washes. Then she did have me to give the steps some scrubs. While I so did, I looked looks about. On the porch-end was a little spider. He made moves in a little quick way. A guepe came near unto him. She made no stops. She came on to him. She did carry that spider away. THE STORY OF OPAL 271 Pretty soon I did have those steps all clean nice and clean. Then the mamma did have me to help her to take the children to the house of her mamma. She and they stayed there all day. I so did not do. When they were come to the door of the ranch-house, I did go goes in the way that goes to the pasture-bars. I so did go to tell the folks in the pasture what day it was. It was most warm when I was come to the far end of the pasture. The folks of the pasture were not out in the sun. They were in shade. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was under a big chene tree. She did look gentle looks at me. And I did put my arm around her neck and tell her all about whose day it was. Then I went on to tell the gentle Jersey cow. She was near some more chene trees. I went on. She followed after. She did come with me as far as the brook. I watched her take a long drink. The day it was so warm. Elizabeth Barrett Browning did come for a drink. I had thinks of Aphrodite in the pig-pen. I looked looks about for the little bucket I do carry drinks of water in to my friends. I found it where I did hide it by the willow bush. Then I did go to take a drink of cold water to Aphrodite in the pig-pen. These warm days she does have longings for a drink of cold water. She did grunt grunts of appreciations. Then she did grunt another grunt. I have thinks that other grunt was to tell me not to have forgets to take a drink of cold water to Cassiopee. I so did. 272 THE STORY OF OPAL Cassiopee is a pig that does belong to the man that our lane does belong to. After I did tell them all about it being the going- away day of Saint Louis, I did go my way to the garden. The golden rod did nod, "It is good that he is born." The tall sunflowers in the garden there did say, "It is his day, it is his day." I went adown the carrot-rows. They were all whispering soft whispers. I have thinks they were saying little thank prayers for the goodness of Saint Louis. The cabbage-plants were all smiling as I passed them by. I think they are right glad for the drink of water I gave each one of them last night. From the garden I did go to tell other folks. I did sing the little song of Saint Louis as I did go along. The sun, it was hot down on my head. I took two big maple leaves and they did some help to keep its warmness from my head. I went on. Once at the edge of the near woods I met with my dear Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. We went on together. I did carry him in one arm, and I did hold a maple leaf over him with the other hand. A long way we went, in about and out about, and many little folks we did tell about this day being the going-away day of Saint Louis. By-and-by, after it was a very long time, there was no sun. The warmness did have a different feel. There were gray clouds in the sky. Some were darkness. I did go in hurry steps. I went not from the road. I did go the way it went around the bend. THE STORY OF OPAL 273 More dark clouds did roll across the sky. More grayness was over all. Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus in my bonnet did make a move. I did almost drop him. I made a stop to wrap him more up in the sun-bonnet. Then I did hurry on. I climbed the lane gate. It was more quick to so do than to pull the plug out that swings the gate open. I went on. There was a great noise. Thomas Chat- terton Jupiter Zeus poked his nose out of the sun- bonnet. He cuddled up against me. The great noise came again. I whispered to him, "II tonne." We went on. In-between times there was fire in the sky. It made moves in a quick way. After it was the coming of the great noise. Every time I did whisper to Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus, "II tonne." I so did, so he would not have thinks the great noise was something else. When we were come near the ending of the lane, there was some very big pats of rain. One fell on my nose, and it did roll off onto the back of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I cuddled him up more close as more loud noises did come. When we were at the ending of the lane, there was Brave Horatius waiting for us. I have thinks he had been on looks for us. His looks did look like he had. We went on together. We was just a-going to start down the path that does lead to our house when we did hear a calling. It was a mournful sound. I had thinks some little life was much hurt and did have needs of my help. I felt for the little 274 THE STORY OF OPAL box of mentholatum in my pocket. It was there, and some bandages too. The sound came again. Somewhere in the near woods a voice was calling. I followed it after. Once I did have thinks it came from a root. And then it was like it did come from a big tree. It was a pain-voice like someone calling someone to come. Then it was like a lost voice trying to find its way among the ferns. It was not a word-voice. It was just a voice without words. I did have wonders what voice it was. I followed after its queer callings. Brave Horatius followed after me. He would stop and look queer puzzle- looks at nowhere. We did go on. The voice sound came again. Then it was like a voice lost from the person it did belong to. It was a clear low cry, like a ripple of gray ribbon. We were more near to it. We followed it around a big tree. There it was come from the man on the stump, between that tree and the big tree that was beyond it. The man, he did throw back his head and the voice came out his throat and went to nowhere. It came again like little bits of queer green fire flame, and then it was low and again like a ripple of gray ribbon. As it was so he did turn his face about. It was the face of the husband of Sadie McKibben; but the look the look in his eyes was a queer wild look that looked looks at nowhere. CHAPTER XXXVIII How Opal Makes Prepares to Move. How she Collects All the Necessary Things, Bids Good-bye to Dear Love, and Learns that her Prayer has been Answered. WE are going to move to the mill town. For a whole week, every morning now after the morning works is done the mamma does have me to help her make prepares to move; and after I do be helps to the mamma, then I do work at making prepares for moving my belongings when we go goes to the mill town. I have made begins a week ago. I have been carrying my belongings to inside an old log a little way away from the house we do live in. Moving is a big amount of problem. But mostly now I do have my prepares done. I am going to take with me when we go goes to the mill just my necessary things the mamma does say none but my neces- sary things can go. She said that was my blue calico apron and my gray calico apron and the clothes that goes under them and my two pair of stockings and the shoes I have on and my sun- bonnet and my slate and Cyr's Reader. But I have some more necessary things that the mamma has not knows of. There is my two books that Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in and I do study in every day, and the pictures of 276 THE STORY OF OPAL mother and pere and the pictures of grandmere ^and grandpere and tante and tante and oncle, and all the others that I do love much every day; and to-day there was needs to give the dear picture of pere a wash in the brook because last time on yes- terday, when I did kiss him, a little piece of jam from my bread and butter got on his dear face that does look so like him. And after I did come from the brook I put them all away in a careful way in the box I do keep them in, and I said a little prayer. And I went to bring to the old log the willow whistle the shepherd did make for me when it was the borning time of the lambs, and the two flutes he did make of reeds. And now I do have most of my necessaries in the hollow log. There by it is the lily plant the soul of Peter Paul Rubens has loves for to be near. And I have planted it in a little flower-pot Sadie McKibben has given to me. And when we are moved moves to the mill town I will put the lily plant under the window of the room I do have sleeps in, so that what the soul of Peter Paul Rubens does love to be near will be near unto where I am. And in the hollow log there is the old logging boot of the husband of Dear Love, that he has given me to keep some of my rock collections in. And there is the bath-towel of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus that Dear Love has made for him. And there is the color pencils that the fairies did THE STORY OF OPAL 277 bring to the moss-box. And there is many brown papers that Sadie McKibben has given me to print prints on. And there is the cushion Lola did make for Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil to sit on in my desk at school. And there is all the patches I do pin on my underskirt for my animal friends to ride in. And there is the track of Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing that I did dig up in the lane. It has so much of poetry in it. And there is one of the gray neckties of the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice, that he did give to me for Brave Horatius to wear. And there is the bib of Elsie's baby that Elsie did give me for Menander Euripides Theoc- ritus Thucydides to wear when he was nursing the bottle. And there is seven of the tail-feathers of Lars Porsena that he did lose when he did lose his tail. And there is four old horse-shoes of William Shake- speare that the blacksmith did have allows for me to have when he was putting new shoes onto Wil- liam Shakespeare. And there is the thimble of Dear Love that she has given me to carry drinks of water to the folks in the hospital. And there is the little bell of Peter Paul Rubens that he did use to wear to service in the cathedral. And there is Elsie's baby's little old shoe that got worn out and she gave it to me for Nannerl Mozart to sleep in. And there is the lid of Sadie McKibben's coffee- pot that she did give me when it came off. She always did sing over that lid when cooking-time 278 THE STORY OF OPAL was come. And there is the traveling-case of Minerva that the pensee girl with the far-away look in her eyes did make for me to carry all the christening robes of Minerva's children in, and more pieces of white cloth and little ribbons the pensee girl did put into Minerva's traveling case for chris- tening-time corne next year. And there is the egg-shells Ben Jonson and Sir Francis Bacon and Pius VII and Nicholas Boileau and Edmund Spen- ser and Oliver Goldsmith and John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont and Cardinal Richelieu and Sir Walter Raleigh and the rest of Minerva's children hatched out of. I have thinks there is needs for me to carry those egg-shells in my apron when we go moves to the mill town, so they will not have breaks. And there is the little gray shawl Sadie McKibben so made for Nannerl Mozart. And there is the little cap that Dear Love did make for my Louis II, le Grand Conde. It has got a feather in it. He did nibble the end off the feather, and he had mouse-wants to chew the tassel that she did put on the bag she did make for me to carry him in. And there is the ribbon bow off Elsie's garter she did give me for Felix Mendelssohn to wear. I have heard the women folks at the farm- house say this world would be a nice world if there were n't any mice in it. I think it would be a most lonesome place. And there is the big handker- chief of the man of the long step that whistles most all of the time that he did give to me for Brave THE STORY OF OPAL 279 Horatius to wear around his neck. And there is Elsie's old lace collar that Elizabeth Barrett Brown- ing does wear to cathedral service. And there is one of the whiskers of Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus that he did lose. And there is all the portraits of my friends on poker-chips. And there is the other white poker- chips that are waiting waits for pictures to be drawed on them. And there is the blue and the red poker-chips that is the breakfast and supper plates of the folks in the nursery and the hospital. And there is Minerva's white cap that she does wear to cathedral service with the ruffles on it like are on the morning cap of Jenny Strong. And there is the long green string I pulled my tooth with. And there is the split jacket of Padre Martini, that he did last wear before he was become a grown-up cigale. And there is the bottle of Menander Eurip- ides Theocritus Thucydides the bottle that used to be a brandy bottle. And there is the skins of the caterpillars they did grow too big for when they were growing into papillons and phalenes. And there is the two tail-feathers of Agamemnon Mene- laus Dindon. And there is Solomon Grundy's christening robe. And there is the little fleur water- ing-pot the fairies did bring that I do give my friends shower-baths with. And there is the cocoon that Charlotte Bronte, the big velvet brown pha- lene, did hatch out of; and there is more cocoons that other phalenes did hatch out of. And there is 280 THE STORY OF OPAL the ribbon bow Elsie has given me off her other garter for the pet squirrel Geoifroi Chaucer that the cat did hurt but is well again. And there is a whole new box of metholatum that Sadie McKibben has given me for the little folks I find with hurts in the mill town. And there is the four vaseline bottles that got empty after the young husband of Elsie did use all the vaseline in them to keep his pumpa- door smooth. I have uses for those vaseline bottles to keep food in for the folks of the nursery. These things I have now in the log. Others of my necessary things I will bring this eventime and on to-morrow and the next day and the day after that. Some of us go to the mill town, but not all of us so go. Dear Solomon Grundy is sold to a man that does live at one of the edges of the mill town. Aphrodite is going to stay stays here, and so is Mathilde Plantagenet and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Anthonya Mundy and the gentle Jersey cow and Savonarola and Agamemnon Men- elaus Dindon; and Plato and Pliny are going to live on in the barn. Brave Horatius is going goes with Aidan of lona come from Lindisfarne, and too Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides is go- ing with the shepherd to the blue hills. Minerva is going to town with us, and so is Sir Francis Bacon and Ben Jonson and Pius VII and Nicholas Boileau and Sir Walter Raleigh and all the rest of her dear children, and Clementine and THE STORY OF OPAL 281 Napoleon and Andromeda. And by-and-by Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus is coming comes to the mill town, and so is Felix Mendelssohn and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and Nannerl Mozart and some of her children, and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and Geoffroi Chaucer and the caterpillar folks in the nursery. All are when I do have homes fixed for them about the house we are going to live in in the mill town. Until then Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus is going to stay with Dear Love and her husband, and, too, Dear Love does say Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil can live under her doorsteps until I do have a place fixed for him under the doorstep of the house we are going to live in in the mill town. And Sadie McKibben is going to take care of Geoffroi Chaucer and bring him in to me at the house we are going to live in at the mill town. And the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice is going to take care of all my mouse friends in his bunk-house, and he is going goes to feed the folks in the nursery and the hospital. And often it is I am going to come comes back again here to cathedral service and talks with them I know, and to leave letters for the fairies in the moss-box. I have thinks about the mill town. Maybe in the fields over on the other side of the mill town maybe there there will be etourneau and ortolan and draine and durbec and loriot and verdier and rossignol and pinson and pivoine. When 282 THE STORY OF OPAL I am come to the mill town, I will go explores to see, and I will build altars for Saint Louis. Now I go to see Dear Love. When I was come near unto her little house, I had seeing of Dear Love. She was sitting on the steps by her door drying her hair in the sun. It did wave little ripples of light when the wind did go in a gentle way by. She let me have feels of its touches. And she did give me a kiss on each cheek and one on the nose when she lifted me onto her lap. And then Dear Love did tell me a secret. It's hers and her husband's secret that the angels did let them know ahead they are going to have a baby soon. I felt a big amount of satisfaction. It is about time that prayer was answered. Some prayers you pray a little while and answers come. Some prayers you pray more times and answers don't come. I have not knows of why. But prayers for babies get answered soon most always they do. The time is so long I have been praying prayers for Dear Love to have a baby soon. And now the angels have told her it's going to come in about five months. I have thinks that is quite a time long to wait waits. And Dear Love has showed me the clothes the angels did tell her to make ahead for its coming. And there is two little shirts and bands, and very long underskirts with feather stitches in them, and there's a little cream kimona with a blue ribbon bow on it. I looked looks at it a long time. And THE STORY OF OPAL 283 Dear Love said she was going to make one just like it for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus. I am glad. And there was more little clothes, and while we was looking at them the husband of Dear Love did come in the door and he did look adores at Dear Love. It's just our secret just Dear Love's and her husband's and mine. Nobody knows it but just us three, and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Brave Horatius and Edward I and lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile and Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael and Aphrodite and Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and Felix Mendelssohn and Plato and Pliny and Minerva and her chickens and Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides and Louis II, le Grand Conde, and the willows that grow by Nonette. Now Brave Horatius and me and Thomas Chat- terton Jupiter Zeus are going to prayers in the cathedral. The great pine tree is saying a poem, and there is a song in the tree-tops. POSTSCRIPT AFTER this I lived in a great many other lumber camps, and there were new people and new animal friends and new nurseries and other cathedrals. I studied in the woods and wrote down what I saw and heard. In the spring of 1918 I went from Ore- gon to Southern California, to do more research work in natural science, earning my way by teaching nature classes. In the winter of 1918 I published my first nature-book, paying for it by taking orders for it in advance. In the summer of 1919 I came East, hoping to be able to get another nature-book published. In my going to see publishers, I came to the editor of the Atlantic. While I was telling the editor about this book, he asked me if I never kept a diary, and this is the answer. After the seventh year and far on into other years I continued the diary ; but perhaps some other time the story of all these things will be pieced together and made into another book. CENTRAL?